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WORLD Points Race Championship

Curran qualifies for final

It is questionable whether there was a more boring race during the week than the first heat of the amateur points championship but, from a national point of view, Paul Curran rode well enough to qualify for the final, picking up double points in the mid-race and final sprints and generally staying out of trouble.

Perhaps it is significant that, of the riders who were to fill the top ten spots in the final, seven were in this first heat, where the watchword was caution.

The second heat had Hernig who dominated everything, apparently not trying to win much but determined to see that the right riders entered the final. Twice he took half a lap and twice he let the field come up to him. The third time he sent away Krenauer of Austria, then sat on the front blocking while Krenauer lapped the field to win his heat with a mere 8 points to the 22 of Bauer in second place.

The final, unlike the heats, was over 150 laps, with a sprint every five laps offering 5, 3, 2 and 1 points to the first four, doubled on laps 75 and 150. Sprint results were as follows:

5 Grenda Donike Menzi Curran
10 Pieters Bauer Haueisen Saito
15 Turtur Nitz Muller Allocchio
20 Allocchio Turtur Marcussen Pohl
25 Khravtsov Donike Bauer Kupec
30 Haueisen Marcussen Hernig Messerschmidt (Turtur led on 8 points, with Haueisen 7, Donike and Allocchio 6)
35 Krenauer Haueisen Vandergriend Donike
40 Woznicki Krenauer Bontchev Marcussen
45 Pohl Bauer Grenda Allocchio
50 Donike Curran Marcussen Bauer
55 Woznicki Vandergriend Grenda Harren
60 Khravtsov Stepniewski Marcussen Turtur (Donike led on 12 points with Haueisen, Marcussen, Khravtsov and Woznicki on 10)
65 Grenda Bauer Haueisen Beckman
70 Pohl Haueisen Grenda Nitz
* * 75 Allocchio Muller Saito Donike
80 Pohl Hernig Messerschmidt Khravtsov
85 Krenauer Bontchev Hernig Menzi
90 Khravtsov Bauer Bontchev Pohl (Allocchio and pohl had 17 points from Haueisen and Grenda 16)
95 Woznicki Grenda Harren Marcussen
100 Phol Khravtsov Curran Grenda
105 Pohl Marcussen Donike Allocchio
110 Allocchio Khravtsov Marcussen Donike
115 Pohl Khravtsov Donike Marcussen
120 Allocchio Donike Curran Grenda (Pohl led with 32 points to Allocchio 28, Khravtsov 25, Donike 22 and Grenda 21)
125 Krenauer Marcussen Pohl Saito
130 Pohl Marcussen Krenauer Hernig
135 Marcussen Krenauer Pohl Hernig
140 Marcussen Pohl Krenauer Hernig
145 Pohl Marcussen Krenauer Curran
* * 150 Nitz Khravtsov Bauer Kupec

So far Curran and Bauer had tried to break but received barely any help. Pohl was briefly off the front and Bauer punctured but got back within the three laps allowed. East Germany were getting on top.

Krenauer had a solo attempt, joined by Woznicki. Then Pohl broke with Hernig sitting on Bauer. Curran took away Bauer and Marcussen but Bauer refused to relay and Marcussen didn't need to.

Haueisen led a break of seven for ten laps before half way where Allocchio got the double points.

Krenauer took the next break, also pulled back and Woznicki was next to go, with Haueisen and Muller.

Bauer went when the three were caught, then Curran tried with Pohl sitting in. Bauer was in a crash and again got back; another Curran move failed before Krenauer attacked alone.

Krenauer established his break joined by Pohl and Marcussen, as Hernig rode between the leading trio and the bunch. The three gained their lap with two to go, which settled the medals.

Perhaps the most remarkable thing about the race was the obvious understanding between Krenauer of Austria and the East German team, notable because it had been advertised already in the second heat. Hernig controlled the bunch, Haueisen and Pohl tested the opposition to see which of them was the stronger and where the main challenge lay, and Krenauer embarked on another of his daredevil raids, taking with him the leading GDR rider and anybody else not too dangerous overall, while Hernig remained in charge, as the sprint positions for laps 130, 135 and 140 show. The leading trio developed the winning break carefully, picking up five sets of points on the way as insurance against being caught, timing the junction with the field to perfection.

It sounds like a clinical operation, which is not a bad comparison. What chance had Michael Grenda, isolated once Turtur had weakened himself to the point of retirement? What chance had Khravtsov, Allocchio and Donike, the sole Russian, the sole Italian and the sole West German and all well placed when the break went? What chance had Steve Bauer, who was the one rider capable of catching the break, until a puncture followed by a crash interrupted his rhythm?

As for the rest of the field, only two riders tried to develop breaks. Woznicki was active throughout but he gained his points too early and had no strength left when the key attack came. Curran tried on four occasions to gain something, but each time his companions failed to work and Curran seemed nervous of striking out alone.

If this summary sounds critical, I should stress my admiration of the strength and confidence of Hernig and Krenauer. They knew what they were doing at all times, Hernig, I presume being given the role of orchestrator-in-chief because he was strong enough to control the race while first Haueisen and then Pohl took advantage. Not so much a race, more an execution


1. Phol GDR 49 pts.
2. Marcussen DEN 36
3. Krenauer AUT 27
4. Khravtsov USR 31 at 1 lap
5. Allocchio ITA 28
6. Donike FRG 22
7. Grenda AUS 21
8. Bauer CAN 19

13. Curran GBR 9