Title fights in France
World track championship. Kluge and Friedrich win silver-Hinze bronze
The Olympic endurance test is painful for German sprinters. Emma Hinze and Lea Friedrich’s winning streak of more than two years ends at the Paris 2024 track.
Leah Sophie Friedrich pedaled with all her might but was denied the crowning of the new sprint queen in the French pot.
Against Matilda Gross and 5,000 enthusiastic French fans, the dominance of the German women’s cyclists ended. Friedrich and dethroned world champion Emma Hinze and Co. traces in Paris.
Silver for Friedrich – Hinze gets bronze
Because Gross, carried by the crowd, suffered one painful defeat after another against the German high-flyers and won the world title under confetti for the first time. “I would love to have the rainbow jersey. In retrospect, I’m also proud of the silver medal. Of course, I still missed that title,” said Friedrich, looking at the great atmosphere in the stands. Sure, you can hear it’s loud. But I’m focused on the race and riding it. This is a little taste of Paris.”
Hinze, however, had to settle for bronze. Another German medal came from veteran Roger Kluge, who took silver in the points race. For the 36-year-old footballer, it is the 7th World Cup medal in his career.
But the highest decibel values were measured in the grand sprint final of the Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelin sprint. Friedrich tried everything, sometimes running in front, sometimes behind, but it was not enough. In doing so, the exceptional 22-year-old missed out on becoming only the second rider after Anna Meares to win all four short-track titles.
Above all, however, German dominance ended. Since the 2020 World Cup in Berlin, Hinze and Friedrich have shared all the titles in the sprint area. Only on Wednesday, the duo won the team together with Pauline Grabosz. But Hinze in particular struggled throughout the sprint event, struggling round after round. Against Gross, who was supported by the crowd, the world championship dream ended with three runs in the semifinals.
Kluge also takes silver
Kluge was responsible for the first German medal of the day. 14 years after Olympic silver in Beijing, the 36-year-old reached the podium for the first time in the points race at the World Championships. Kluge finished second with 67 points after 40 kilometers and was only beaten by Dutchman Joeri Havik (76) on Friday. Belgian Fabio van den Bossche (64) took the third place.
“It’s always good to be on the podium. A medal in international title fights is nice for the collection and confirms that I won’t be written off yet. I’m still riding at a good level,” Kluge said. In recent years, the Berliner has mainly focused on driving in a two-man team. There, Kluge has won two golds and one bronze with Theo Reinhardt in recent years.
Kluge used all his experience this time. In the final stage, he made two laps and also won the last sprint. “In the end I had to attack. It was still silver, tactically no need to accuse me of anything. I’ve always had a strong final, I showed that again. Experience, age, strength. it won again,” he said. Kluge:
On the other hand, there was a big disappointment for the European champion Nicholas Henrich in the 4000 meters pursuit. The 20-year-old crashed out in qualifying and was only 18 years old. Gone was the dream of a grand final against Italian hour record holder Filippo Ganna, who won his fifth title in the event and set the next world record in 3; 59,636 minutes. Heinrich was a good 19 seconds slower than Ganna in his run.
“It just wasn’t my day. The excitement was missing. It wasn’t like usual. You could tell right from the start that it was easier,” said Henrich, who almost won the European title in Munich in August. was nine seconds faster.