Edwin Alcibiades Avila Vanegas of Colombia grabbed 20 bonus points for gaining a lap on the peleton and won a key late sprint to win the points race at the track cycling world championships Friday.
Avila Vanegas grinned and punched the air with both hands as he ended the tactical 40-kilometer race at Omnisport velodrome with 33 points.
He said he had to be patient after taking the lap lead early, even as defending champion Cameron Meyer of Australia was chipping away at his advantage late in the race.
Riders earn points during sprints held every 10 laps of the 160-lap race and can also earn 20 bonus points for lapping the rest of the field.
“I was going crazy but my coach was telling me to wait and wait and stay cool and it worked,” Avila Vanegas said.
Meyer scored 25 points to take second place and Morgan Kneisky of France was third with 23 points.
“I didn’t have the legs to take that lap and break the field when I needed to,” Meyer said. “The Colombian rode an excellent race and made the right move at the right time and he takes the world title.”
Avila Vanegas was the only rider who managed such a decisive breakaway and it made him world champion.
Meyer tried to peg back the difference in the sprints and looked like he might overhaul the Colombian late, but Avila Vanegas surged back to the front of the race and won another sprint with 20 laps to go to put himself out of danger.
Earlier, defending champion Gregory Bauge of France easily beat countryman Mickael Bourgain over two races to reach the final of the men’s sprint.
And in a semifinal that could signal a changing of the guard in British sprinting, 23-year-old Jason Kenny upset British teammate Chris Hoy, the 35-year-old reigning Olympic champion.