Track day 4: Women: Sprint qualifying, Men: Sprint rounds – Men’s Omnium: Individual Pursuit, Scratch Race, Kilometer TT (Final): London Olympic Velodrome – km
Denmark’s Lasse Norman Hansen wins gold in men’s omnium
Great Britain’s Ed Clancy secured bronze in the men’s omnium with an outstanding 1km time trial effort (Joby Sessions/BikeRadar)
This article was originally published on Cyclingnews.com.
Denmark’s Lasse Norman Hansen put forth an impressive final night of racing to bring his country its first cycling gold medal in the inaugural edition of the men’s omnium. After a gutsy effort to overcome a crash in the scratch race and chase down a breakaway of eight that had lapped the field, Hansen was able to ride the second fastest kilometer time trial to secure his overall victory by two points over Frenchman Bryan Coquard.
“It feels weird. I still cannot believe it,” Hansen said afterward. “It’s so unreal. It’s the biggest thing that you can ever achieve for an omnium rider, so it’s just a crazy feeling.”
Great Britain’s gold medal winning team pursuiter Ed Clancy (Great Britain) was the fastest against the clock in the final event, even touching the Olympic kilometer record with a remarkable time of 1:00.981, but it wasn’t enough to make up for his relatively poor showings in the mass start events and he took the bronze.
Sitting in fifth place heading into the second half of the omnium, Hansen rode a spectacular individual pursuit to beat Clancy by a mere two-tenths of a second – a result that moved him into third overall behind Australian Glenn O’Shea and Clancy.
Denmark’s Lasse Norman Hansen competing in the 1km time trial
The critical race of the night proved to be the scratch race, where a dangerous group of eight riders escaped to lap the field, leaving O’Shea and Clancy behind. Hansen, ever attentive, was preparing to jump across when the breakaway was just being established, but crashed. He was allowed to restart, and then went on to solo away from the field as the breakaway was taking a lap.
That group included Coquard, Italian Elia Viviani and German Roger Kluge, and Hansen knew he could not afford to let them go and settle for ninth at best. He attacked away from the field and rode solo until he, too, gained a lap, pulling even with his foes. In the final sprint, Hansen took sixth place, good enough to take the lead heading into the final event, tied on points with Viviani and Coquard, with Kluge and Clancy three and four points in arrears.
The night came down to the race of truth: a lung-busting all-out four-lap effort against the clock that would separate the top contenders. Clancy and O’Shea were the third to last heat off, but by far the most intense race of the night.
The British rider crushed the time of all the rest, but the omnium is not about one race: it is all about consistency, and Hansen showed he can do it all. His time was good enough for second place, although he was nearly two seconds slower than Clancy.
Coquard’s fourth place secured the silver, his individual pursuit his only weak point of the night.
Women’s sprint qualifying
In the qualifying round of the women’s sprint, home favourite Victoria Pendleton picked up where her compatriot Jason Kenny left off, coming in quickest with a new Olympic Record – 10.724 seconds for the 200m flying lap.
Victoria Pendleton preparing for her sprint qualifying heat
Anna Meares (Australia) came in second with a strong ride, having to face a wall of silence rather than the thunderous roar that Pendleton enjoyed. She topped Guo Shuang, with German Kristina Vogel coming in a close fourth.
Men’s sprint quarter finals
The men’s sprint quarter finals were decided in two races for each heat, with home favourtie Jason Kenny (Great Britain) easily advancing over Malaysian Awang Azizulhasni. Awang pushed Kenny hard, making the second race one of the fastest match sprints in Olympic history.
German Robert Forstemann was no match for the French world champion Gregory Bauge. It appeared to take far less than the maximum effort for Bauge to send Forstemann packing, and he cruised in after two matches to advance to the semifinal.
Shane Perkins similarly dispatched American Jimmy Watkins, but the matches between Russian Denis Dmitriyev and Njisane Phillip (Trinidad Tobago) were far closer. Phillip’s tactic to push the pace from the front and force the Russian to chase worked to perfection, although his margin of victory was razor thin each time.
Men’s omnium – Individual pursuit
Men’s omnium – 15km scratch race
Men’s omnium – 1km time trial
Men’s omnium – Final overall standings
Men’s sprint quarter final – Race 1, heat 1
Men’s sprint quarter final – Race 1, heat 2
Men’s sprint quarter final – Race 1, heat 3
Men’s sprint quarter final – Race 1, heat 4
Men’s sprint quarter final – Race 2, heat 1
Men’s sprint quarter final – Race 2, heat 2
Men’s sprint quarter final – Race 2, heat 3
Men’s sprint quarter final – Race 2, heat 4
Women’s sprint final – Qualifying
Women’s sprint 1/16 final – Heat 1
Women’s sprint 1/16 final – Heat 2
Women’s sprint 1/16 final – Heat 3
Women’s sprint 1/16 final – Heat 4
Women’s sprint 1/16 final – Heat 5
Women’s sprint 1/16 final – Heat 6
Women’s sprint 1/16 final – Heat 7
Women’s sprint 1/16 final – Heat 8
Women’s sprint 1/16 final – Heat 9
Women’s sprint repechage – Heat 1
Women’s sprint repechage – Heat 2
Women’s sprint repechage – Heat 3