The French team missed gold but managed its third day of the Track Cycling World Championships in Berlin with three medals, silver and bronze for Lafargue and D'Almeida on the kilometer, and bronze for Ermenault on the pursuit.
These two events are not on the program of the Tokyo Olympic Games (July 24 / August 9), but the results are nevertheless a way to gain confidence, or to show themselves to the coaches before the crucial decisions on the composition of the Olympic team.
The most disappointed was Quentin Lafargue, despite his second place on the podium. World kilometer champion last year in Poland, he left his rainbow jersey to 22-year-old Dutchman Sam Ligtlee, winner in the final in 59.495 seconds to bring his country his fourth gold medal in three days.
"I had a jersey to defend," said Lafargue, "so yes, I am very disappointed. After that I don't spit on a silver medal either. I respect this result, I have long chased world medals" .
- "Incredible chronos" -
In a competition at a very high level, the Frenchman failed at 254/1000 from Ligtlee, after having achieved the best qualifying time in the early afternoon, in 59.324 seconds.
"The times were pretty incredible today, I thought I could make times of this level, but it was not enough on the round of the final. But we saw today that it is not physically that we were beaten, it's on small technical details ".
Next to him on the podium, with a bronze charm around the neck, Michael D'Almeida was much more positive: "I am very satisfied with myself, happy with the work accomplished, it is a medal that was not won in advance ", launched the one who was excluded from the speed team trio for these Worlds. In Berlin, the double Olympic medalist (silver in London, bronze in Rio) had only one event to compete, the kilometer.
"I arrived here in not obvious psychological conditions, but I knew how to mobilize, he congratulated himself. Those who know me know that I will not let go. Of course a team will have to take shape soon, and count given my past and current performances, I consider that I should not be excluded. After there are people who decide ... "
- Bronze and record for Ermenault -
The third medal of the day was brought by Corentin Ermenault in individual pursuit. In the match for third place, the Picard clearly dominated the Italian Jonathan Milan, beaten by more than 3 seconds.
Ermenault, titled in the past at the European championships but medalist for the first time at the Worlds, completed the distance of 4 kilometers in 4 min 09 sec 921. In qualifying, the son of the former Olympic champion Philippe Ermenault had worn his French record at 4 min 07 sec 593.
The world title was won with flying colors by Italian Filippo Ganna, who broke his own 4 km world record in qualifying in 4 min 01 sec 934.
The tall Piedmontese (1.93 m), who runs on the road for the British team Ineos, beat the American Ashton Lambie in the final.
In the points race, absent from the Olympic program, it was a 19-year-old New Zealander, Corbin Strong, who won the race on Friday with great audacity.
© 2020 AFP