Hour Record holder Filippo Ganna became only the second person in history to go under four minutes in the individual pursuit, breaking the world record by three tenths of a second with a 3-59.636 at the Track World Championships.
“I think today we’ve written a part of history,” Ganna told Cycling Weekly after the race. “It’s an amazing moment for us all.”
On Thursday, the Italian placed second in the team pursuit, a discipline in which he and his teammates broke the world record at the Olympics last year.
“Today, at nine o’clock, I woke up. At 10 o’clock, I didn’t want to do the individual pursuit. At quarter past, everyone from the national team came in my room and tried to help me to take the decision.
“From tonight, I’m going to just celebrate,” Ganna added. “Maybe beers, maybe gin and tonics, it depends. Maybe champagne, we’re in France.”
The 26-year-old beat his compatriot Jonathan Milan by four seconds in the event’s all-Italian final.
In the bronze medal race, Great Britain’s Dan Bigham couldn’t overcome Ivo Oliveira (Portugal) to claim a spot on the podium. The team pursuit world champion set a new British record of 4-05.181 in qualifying, but struggled in the play-off, going five seconds slower than his previous effort.
“I just didn’t have it, simple as that,” Bigham said.
“You scrape the barrel and you ride it with all you’ve got,” the Brit added. “I definitely gave it a good nudge.”
American Omnium glory
Jennifer Valente (USA) sailed to victory in the women’s omnium, winning three out of the four events and adding an individual world title to the four she already had in the team pursuit.
“This definitely was a long time coming,” the American told Cycling Weekly after the race. “I achieved the Olympic dream before this one, but this really had been on the forefront of my mind for quite a long time.”
The Olympic omnium champion won the scratch, elimination and points races to triumph with 118 points across the event.
“It’s an overall,” the 27-year-old explained. “People have good races and bad races, and you just have to be consistent. The most consistent rider is the one that wins.
“There’s no cruising. [I was against] very tough competition, a lot of up-and-coming young riders, and a lot of people that are ready to dig deep and go hard to put their name on the board.”
Dutch 21-year-old Maike van der Duin, silver medalist in Wednesday’s scratch race, came second with 109 points, winning the tempo race.
Gold at last for France
France’s Mathilde Gros had the home crowds roaring when she secured her country’s first rainbow jersey at this year’s championships in the women’s sprint.
The 23-year-old knocked out previous titleholder Emma Hinze in the semifinals, before going on to win 2-0 against the German’s compatriot, six-time gold medalist Lea Sophie Friedrich, in the final.
In the men’s kilometre time trial, Jeffrey Hoogland (Netherlands) stopped the clock at 58.106 to retain his rainbow bands ahead of European champion Melvin Landerneau (France).
The Dutch also secured the gold medal in the 40km men’s points race, with Yoeri Havik, the only rider to gain three laps on the field, clinching a career first world title. Great Britain’s Will Perrett narrowly missed out on the medals, placing fifth on his World Championships debut.
“I’m a bit gutted, to be honest,” Perrett said after the race. “I wish I could redo it.
“I’m proud of how I rode but there’s more to come, more for the future.”