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Sprint queen Lee leads the way at PruRide Hong Kong

09 March 2019

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Lee Wai Sze sparkled on the second night of PruRide Six Day Hong Kong as the sprinters left a packed Saturday crowd spellbound.

Fresh from a double World Championships victory in Poland, the 31-year-old is the star attraction at the inaugural event and had the Hong Kong hordes in thrall with powerful performances.

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Last rider out in the 200m time-trial, Lee clocked 11.190 seconds with searing speed to edge out Poland’s Urszula Los and pick up 20 points straight off the bat.

Having started the day with a slender five-point lead at the top of the general classification, she surged further in front with a tactical masterclass in edging out Los to sprint final glory.

A dramatic keirin set the stage for Sunday’s climax as Miriam Welte, Lee’s closest challenger to overall victory, slid to the win from the top of the track in a photo finish.

It all means Lee has a nine-point lead heading into the final night, top of the tree with 103 and Welte trailing on 94 with three events still to run.

Shane Perkins and Pavel Kelemen continued their titanic tussle in the men’s sprints with final glory going to the Czech after Friday’s track stand-off.

Kelemen claimed the points in the early time-trial and wrested the tactical initiative in his closing clash with Perkins.

“I am very happy because yesterday I came second in the sprint and now I’m first, so it’s fantastic,” said Kelemen.

Francois Pervis put in one of the day’s defining performances, surging past Perkins on the final bend in the keirin final to claim maximum points.

“I am over the moon to win,” said the Frenchman.

“But it was so close with Perkins, there was a photo finish, but winning is the most important thing.

“It’s an amazing atmosphere – Six Day is always amazing!”

Kelemen leads the sprinters on 102 points, with Perkins in hot pursuit on 90 with plenty of racing still to come tomorrow.

There was another moment for the home crowd to savour as King Lok Cheung led a Hong Kong triumph alongside Chun Wing Leung in the final elite men Madison.

Four attacks in the first 20 minutes underscored an aggressive start across the board, with Swiss pair Tristan Marguet and Nico Selenati gaining two laps in the early stages.

And it was a fine evening for the Kiwis as Hugo Jones and Joshua Scott gained a Madison lap, building on their 500m time-trial win that saw them stay in the hot seat for over 24 hours.

King Lok Cheung won the intermediate sprint and then unleashed the power to defy 45 minutes of intense racing, getting the locals on their feet yet again and claiming 15 points in the process.

Kenny De Ketele and Yoeri Havik remain top of the general classification by 84 points, but weren’t able to extend their lap lead over chasing duos Nick Stopler and Melvin van Zijl or Andreas Graf and Andreas Muller.

“We defended the lead which was most important but some attacks were useless today,” said Havik.

“We’re very happy to stay in the lead, with the points it’s a really good situation for us.”

Brits remain top of the tree in the elite women, recovering from a gruelling opening-night omnium, but didn’t have it all their own way across Madison and team elimination races.

Emily Nelson and Neah Evans combined to tot up several sprint wins and points towards their overall tally, even mounting a late attack to gain a second lap on the way to Madison success.

Nelson said: “We went into it just wanting to win as many sprints as possible and found ourselves off the front.

“We were wondering whether to go for the lap or just get back in the bunch.

“We decided to commit, got the lap and decided to keep going as strong as we could.

“It’s a bit of planning and also reading the race on the fly– we’re sprinters, so if we target them we’re more likely to do well.”

The in-form pair were knocked out third last in the elimination, Ireland’s Shannon McCurley sprinting to victory alongside Lauren Perry.

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