The French cyclist Daniel Morelon won the Champion of Champions sprint title in a thrilling final at London's Herne Hill track on ?
CU Board with international flags and event
SV PAN Officials and cyclists in centre of track
LV PAN Dutch and Polish rider in heat
LV PAN Morelon wins exciting heat
LV PAN Fredborg wins from Englishman and East German
LV PAN Nicholson racing with Geschke who wins (2 shots)
SV Crowd watching
LV Start of final
LV PAN Cyclists on bend and finishing
PAN FROM Crowd to Morelon receiving trophy
BOARD: FIRST SEMI-FINAL: SECOND SEMI-FINAL: THIRD SEMI-FINAL: FOURTH SEMI-FINAL: CROWDS: FINAL ON STRAIGHT AND BEND: MORELON WITH TROPHY.
Initials BB/0250 JT/PN/BB/0316
SPORT: CYCLE RACING
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: The French cyclist Daniel Morelon won the Champion of Champions sprint title in a thrilling final at London's Herne Hill track on ?Friday (April 20). This is the fifth time that Morelon has won this opening classic of the international track season.
Although there were no professionals, the Southern Counties Cycling Union had mustered an outstanding field. Apart form Morelon himself, there was the Danish Olympic kilometre champion, Niels Fredborg, the Australian Commonwealth Champion John Nicholson and last year's winner Dutchman Rinue Langkruis.
Morelon has shown an extraordinary consistency over the years. Gold medallist in the Mexican and Munich Olympics, he now seems set for another successful season.
SYNOPSIS: Top Europe an cyclists competed for the Champion of Champions sprint title during an absorbing and exciting afternoon';s racing at London's Herne Hill track on Friday.
In the opening heat the Dutch cyclist Rinus Langkruis, who won the title last year, was pitted against Andrej Bak of Poland, the tandem bronze medallist from the Munich Olympics. Langkruis, won with impressive power.
The crowd's expectation of an exciting afternoon was being justified.
In the second heat french cyclist Jean Morelon immediately showed the astonishing speed that had already made him champion of champions four times since 1965. He powered through to beat Benedykt Kocot of Poland and Hans Van Each of Holland. Although there were no professionals taking part, the Southern Counties cycling Union had clearly gathered an outstanding field.
Niels Fredborg, the Olympic gold medallist over a kilometre, was in the third heat. He Knocked out the East German Warner Otto, an Olympic tandem Medallist, and Londoner Dave Rowe, the sole hope of the home crowd.
In the final heat the favourite was the Australian John Nicholoson, who is the Olympic silver medallist and a recent winner over Morelon. But the East German Jurgen Geschke went past him easily in the finishing straight.
The event was living up to its billing as the opening classic of the international season.
Now for the climax of the afternoon -- the Champion of Champions race.
The finalists were Morelon, Jurgen Geschke and Rinus Langkruis, the holder of the trophy.
On the final bend Morelon was in second place, but broke on the outside int he home straight to regain the title he had last won in 1971. Geschke was second and Langkruis took third place.
So the astonishing daniel Morelon won the trophy for the fifth time. The man who took the gold medal in the cycle sprint at both the Mexico and the Munich Olympics seems set for yet another successful season.