Kueng stuns Bobridge for individual pursuit title at worlds

SAINT-QUENTIN-EN-YVELINES, France (AP) Stefan Kueng staged a stunning comeback to upset world-record holder Jack Bobridge and win the men’s individual pursuit final at the track cycling world championships on Saturday.

Kueng, the European Under-23 champion in the road race and time trial, trailed the pre-race favorite by three seconds at the 2,000-meter halfway mark, but Bobridge, the Australian who failed in his attempt at the hour record this year, cracked in the closing stages.

The Swiss rider, who is regarded as the natural heir to four-time time trial world champion Fabian Cancellara, claimed his biggest prize yet.

”This is a fantastic win, even more special because I claimed the title against Bobridge,” Kueng said. ”I knew it would be very tight, but I scratched my head to figure out the best way to race. And it worked out.”

Julien Morice of France took bronze after defeating Alexander Serov of Russia in the race for third place.

Earlier, Kirsten Wild of the Netherlands used an impressive burst of power to win the women’s scratch race.

The Dutch sprinter went up front with three laps to go and resisted a dangerous inside move from Frenchwoman Pascale Jeuland to give her country its first gold medal at the Velodrome National.

Wild won ahead of Australian Amy Cure, who also won gold in the team pursuit and bronze in the individual pursuit.

Jeuland crossed in third place, but was disqualified for entering the sprinter’s lane when her rival was already there. The bronze passed to Canadian Allison Beveridge.

Yumari Gonzalez Valdivieso of Cuba fell heavily in the finale, and was evacuated on a stretcher. Her condition was not known.

Wild is bidding for another gold medal in the women’s omnium – the multidiscipline Olympic event for the most versatile riders – leading the standings at halfway point, with Annette Edmondson of Australia in second, and Laura Trott third.

Meanwhile, Colombian Fernando Gaviria Rendon won the men’s omnium ahead of Australian Glenn O’Shea and Italian Elia Viviani.

German Kristina Vogel retained her world title in the sprint by defeating rising star Elis Ligtlee of Netherlands in the final. Zhong Tianshi of China took bronze with a 2-0 win over Stephanie Morton of Australia.

”Got this one with my head and not my legs,” Vogel said.