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French Capture Two Cycling Titles

August 26, 1998

BORDEAUX, France (AP) _ Arnaud Tournant and Philippe Ermenault of France won the first two titles of the World Cycling Championships Wednesday with another French rider leading the way in the women’s event.

Tournant upset three-time champion Shane Kelly of Australia in the men’s kilometer time trial. American Erin Hartwell was third.

Ermenault, the defending champion, won the pursuit final, defeating teammate Francis Moreau, the 1991 winner.

Tournant was timed 1 minute, 1.879 for the 1,000 meters. Kelly’s best was 1:02.261. Hartwell was caught in 1:02.637, and he was disappointed.

``I don’t like not winning,″ he said. ``I medaled enough so it’s time to step up.″

It was a comeback for him. He had medaled in 1994 and 1995 but took last year off after the Olympics.

France’s Felicia Ballanger, who has won six world titles over the last three years, led the way in qualifying in the sprint.

Her time of 11.259 seconds over the 200 meters time trial was the best and advanced her, Michelle Ferris of Australia and Chris Witty of the United States nto the next round.

Ferris’s time was 11.341. Witty’s best was 11.361.

Witty won a silver and a bronze medal in speedskating this year in Nagano but is now concentrating on the cycling events to try for the Summer Olympics in 2000.

Another American, Jennie Reed, qualified in fourth in 11.386.

In the round of 16 head to heads, Ballanger, Ferris and Reed easily won their heats to advance to the quarterfinals.

Witty won her heat but was dropped to second place for not holding her line in the final sprint. She was put in the repechage _ or second chance _ heat in which finished second in to lose out on a chance for the quarterfinals.

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