VIENNA — American Rebecca Twigg-Whitehead recaptured the individual pursuit title Friday night in the World Cycling Championships.
Whitehead, world champion in the event in 1982, '84 and '85, beat arch-rival Jeannie Longo of France in the final with a time of 3 minutes 41.14 seconds. Longo was timed in 3:44.00.
Another American, Mindy Mayfield, won the bronze medal.
Longo, who edged Whitehead in Colorado last year to win the world pursuit gold medal, led by a half-second midway through the three-kilometer race here.
But then Whitehead picked up the pace. As U.S. women's Coach Sue Novara-Reber waved her arms wildly in encouragement, Whitehead moved into the lead with three laps to go and finished a comfortable 2.86 seconds ahead.
Novara-Reber said: "Thank God, we won. Last year, U.S. women won three medals but no gold, so it felt kind of empty."
Lutz Hesslich of East Germany beat countryman Michael Huebner for the amateur sprint title.
The 150-lap amateur motorpace final produced the loudest cheering of the championships, as Austrian Roland Koenigshofer rode aggressively from start to finish, taking third place behind Italians Mario Gentili and Vincenzo Colamartino for what is expected to be Austria's lone medal of the championships.
The closing event of the evening was the Keirin, a high-speed motorpaced event that is popular in Japan. Harumi Honda of Japan won the gold medal, followed by Claudio Golinelli of Italy and another Japanese, Shigenori Inoue.