Track Cycling World Championships: Mathilde Gross wins gold in sprint
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Track Cycling World Championships: Mathilde Gross wins gold in sprint

Mathilde Gross wins her gold medal in speed, at the World Cycling Championships, in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, October 14, 2022.

Expected for years, Mathilde Gross, on Friday 14 October, brought France her first gold medal at the track world championships in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines. This is the 23-year-old Provençale’s first world title, a big hope she’s been running since the juniors, and she won at the Queen event: Speed.

“It’s unbelievable. I think I’ll be dreaming about it all night long.”, Mathilde Gross celebrated at the track where the Olympics will be held, in less than two years. “ The ultimate goal is Paris 2024. But I think it will be one of the most beautiful memories of my entire life. It’s just so good”she added.

Read also: Cycling track: Matilde Gross, European champion Keren

This victory, the French did not steal, having single-handedly controlled the powerful German team. First, in the semi-finals, the double-defense champion, Emma Haines, was expelled from the tournament despite losing the first round. She did it again for the gold medal, not leaving a chance for Leah Sophie Friedrich, this time in two straight games. “Being at home has helped me a lot, Mathilde Gross says. I crossed the line, screamed with all my might, I think the whole world heard it! It’s an emotion I’ve never felt in my entire life. »

setbacks before success

Mathilde Gross, who was born in Pas-de-Calais but grew up in Bouches-du-Rhone, discovered cycling by chance eight years ago, when she was a trained basketball player and dreamed of three-point baskets. Talented, she quickly asserted herself as a great hope for French sport by ranking titles among juniors, then some predicted her fate as Felicia Ballanger, the great French sprint lady, triple Olympic champion.

Mathilde Gross (blue jersey) during the semi-final match against Germany's Emma Haines, at St Quentin-en-Yvelines, October 14, 2022.

The pressure made it frantic at times. Mathilde Gross suffered several setbacks after taking a promising third place at the 2019 World Championships, often due to a lack of self-confidence. “I take slaps but one day I’ll get a click”She said, last year, after two consecutive poor performances at the Tokyo Olympics (9e Single speed and 13e keirin) and at the World Championships in Roubaix (9e Keren).

So the click came on Friday, in the court where she knew how to practice violence against herself to believe in her more. Even if it means wrestling her admirers, defying her opponents with her gaze for seconds on end.

One last fun I shared on Friday with the broad and over-singing audience “Matilda, Matilda” Passionate. “You don’t realize how powerful it is.The cyclist explains. It’s a sick thing. Paris will be very good in two years. A lot has changed since the games [de Tokyo en 2021] Mine. We have started again. »

Silver Medal by Melvin Landero

The French fans were rattled by the beautiful silver medal won earlier in the evening by Melvin Landerneau, who was then second for France in these worlds, after the bronze medal won the previous day by the women’s pursuit team.

Certainly, the European kilometer champion in August in Munich could not do anything against the defeated Dutchman Jeffrey Hoagland, who retained his title by a margin of more than 1 second and 4 tenths. But he also, at the age of 24, has opened up his appetite for Paris 2024.

“It’s a great performance.commented. From the start, I knew it would be very difficult to get it. The goal is to bridge this “gap” with him through games. We’ll get back to work trying to join him on this planet. »

A planet where Italian Filippo Ganna also lives, who won a fifth world title in the individual pursuit, a new world record at stake. However, the best rider on the planet arrived tired in these worlds after defeating, last Saturday, another record, the legendary, by covering 56,792 kilometers at the Granges track in Switzerland.

But he was able to find the resources to beat fellow countryman Jonathan Milan in the final, and enrich his title bid, which also includes two world titles in the road trial.

Read also: Track cycling world championships that look like rehearsal for Paris 2024

The world with AFP

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