• World Track Championships

Kenny conjures gold at the death

ESPN staff
February 22, 2013
Jason Kenny saved his best for the very last in Minsk © Getty Images

Jason Kenny won gold in the men's keirin at the World Track Championships in Belarus after almost being eliminated twice in earlier rounds.

Kenny put in a final lap burst to overhaul Max Levy and steal the victory just before the line after the German had led the field all the way to the final bend in Minsk.

The Bolton rider was tucked into third for the first five laps behind the derny and immediately went up to second when it peeled off.

With no-one else able to challenge either him nor Levy, the double Olympic gold medallist bade his time before pouncing to the head of the field just in time to win.

Kenny reached the semi-final by coming through a first-round repechage after only finishing third in his heat. With that extra race in his legs he then failed to qualify for the final but benefitted from the relegation of Francois Pervis to the 7th-12th place final.

The Frenchman won Kenny's heat but he appeared to cut across the Brit's front wheel at the head of the pack as the pair entered the final lap and his move was adjudged to be worthy of demotion.

"It was unbelieveable," Kenny said. "I put my house on Levy winning to be honest. He's so strong and he led it out. I could not believe the speed we were going but fortunately I had a bit to roll him at the finish."

On his less-than-convincing route to the final Kenny extended his sympathy to Pervis. "I felt bad, that was not the way I wanted to get to the final," he added. "Fair play to Pervis he was the strongest in our semi-final but the rules are the rules and a bit of luck went my way."

Simon Yates won a shock gold in the men's points race by finishing third in the final sprint of the 160-lap race to hand him overall victory by one point ahead of Spain's Eloy Teruel.

"It's absolutely brilliant, I could not have asked for anything more," said Yates. "The race came to me and I got more involved and started taking a few more sprints and it worked out well. With ten laps to go I realised I was just one point behind and it just spurs you on.

"It was a long race so I had to save energy until the end and I had a bit left at the end for a burst."

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