Track day 3: Men: Sprint qualifying, Omnium: Flying lap, Points Race, Elimination – Women: Team Pursuit final: London Olympic Velodrome – km
Great Britain wins women’s team pursuit gold with world record
The GB trio took gold with an incredible sixth world record in a row (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)
This article was originally published on Cyclingnews.com.
Women’s team pursuit
The teams from Great Britain have been practically unbeatable in the Olympic track cycling events, and on night three the story was no different: another world record gold medal-winning performance was put on by the women’s team pursuiters in front of a star-studded crowd at the London velodrome.
With Sir Paul McCartney in attendance, Laura Trott, Joanna Rowsell and Dani King stood tall atop the podium to accept their gold medals from UCI president Pat McQuaid and former WADA president Dick Pound. Their Olympic journey began with a world record in qualifying, which they topped in the first round, and then ended going faster still to smash their mark, setting a time of 3:14.051 – half a second quicker than their previous ride.
“I think we expected to break the work record at some point maybe not in every single round that we competed in but we wanted to win,” said Trott. “We went in being favourites and we wanted to win obviously and it all just came together. We rode really well as a team.
“We were never complacent because we knew other teams would always step up and we’ve worked so hard for this and we really believed in ourselves. We couldn’t ask for much more, three perfect races and I can’t believe we’ve won the gold.”
The team from the United States tried a different tactic to go for gold, substituting in Lauren Tamayo in place of Jennie Reed, to join Sarah Hammer and Dotsie Bausch, but they were not able to improve upon their times, coming in dangerously close to being caught over five seconds slower than the British.
Yet it was clearly a case of the USA winning silver rather than losing gold, as they were never expected to be racing against the top-ranked team in the world in the final. They put all of their effort into the previous round, a thrilling match up against Australia, where the USA overcame a huge deficit of 1.128 with one kilometer left to race. It was thanks in large part to the extra pulls of Hammer, but also the tenacity of Reed and Bausch who had to hold onto her wheel.
The American team pursuit trio fell behind from the gun and never looked like threatening Great Britain’s dominance
“We wanted it more, these last two days,” Bausch said, holding her silver medal. “We fought every pedal stroke, every lap, every second. I really believe we wanted it more. It’s pretty wild to think of the deep richness of the track programs in New Zealand, Australia and Great Britain, and it’s just been us four and Ben [Sharp, the USA Cycling endurance coach], and we got the silver.”
After being defeated in the round by USA, the Aussies were pushed into the bronze medal round against Team Canada, and more disappointment would come by a wafer thin margin.
In the final, Tara Whitten, Gillian Carleton and Jasmin Glaesser put in a ride that was above and beyond the aspirations of the two relative novices who joined Whitten in the race. Australia led in the first kilometer, but the Canadians pulled out a lead in the middle 1000m by a slim two hundredths of a second. They brought it home to win the bronze, 3:17.915 over the Australian team’s 3:18.096.
Canada took a well deserved bronze in the women’s team pursuit
“It is so special, we came here and we knew it was a possibility but we knew it would take our everything and to be able to see it come together, and to have this to share with all the people who supported us and all of Canada is just so amazing,” said Glaesser. The 20-year-old from Vancouver only transitioned from running to cycling in 2009, and this is only her first year of international competition at the senior level.
Carloton, 22, said she knew the race was close because of the reaction by the crowd, but had no idea how close the contest truly was.”We just knew something exciting was happening. We gave everything we had, knowing it was going to be very, very close. I am so glad we crossed the line before them.”
For Josie Tomic, Annette Edmondson and Melissa Hoskins, the Olympics ended in heartache. “I feel absolutely devastated,” Tomic said. “We left everything on the track so we can walk away with no regrets. All we can do now is try to get some revenge in the omnium.
“Just three teams went faster than us on the day. Our coach trained us to perfection and we did a personal best in the second round so what can we do?”
Edmondson said the team had to put everything into the first round, and it might have taken away some of their strength for the final. “Our first ride was the fastest we have ever done. We know we have been doing the right things and we couldn’t have asked more from that ride, but I think it took it out of us for the final. As you can imagine we are all feeling upset to come away empty handed but we know we gave everything.”
Jason Kenny of Great Britain set a new Olympic record in the 200m flying start in the qualifying round of the men’s individual sprint at the London Olympic velodrome on Saturday. The British rider was second to last off and rounded the track with a blistering 9.713 second effort, a full tenth of a second faster than Hoy’s record.
Kenny seemed to cruise through the lap, hardly getting out of the saddle and taking the most efficient path down the banking for the maximum speed. He topped the time of Australia’s Shane Perkins, who rode to a 9.987, and even Gregory Baugé, the last starter and world champion, could not come close to the new record mark, setting a 9.952.
The qualifying rides went to plan for the top riders, with German Robert Forstemann recovering from his last minute addition to the team sprint in time to set the fourth fastest mark. “I wanted to ride a time with the best for, so that was good. Now I’ll try and see where it gets me in the sprint,” he said.
Spaniard Hodei Mazquiaran Uria had a surprising incident during his flying lap when the bolts broke on his saddle and it went flying off onto the track. He was given a re-start, but was still second slowest of the night, and therefore put up against Perkins in the 1/16 final.
“The second time I was on the track I was much more nervous than the first time, my legs were tired and I had bad feelings,” he said. “To be honest, I performed quite badly. It’s a big disappointment because I worked so hard, but I’ll try to do my best in the repechages in order to qualify.”
Russian Denis Dmitriev fended off a violent challenge from Damian Zielinski of Poland to advance, while Czech Pavel Kelemen was beaten by Venezuelan Hersony Canelon, but the latter was relegated for entering the sprinters lane with the Czech.
American Jimmy Watkins became the first from his country to make it to the 1/8 round since Marty Nothestein’s gold medal run in 2000. The firefighter from California used his superior lap speed to sent Japan’s Seiichiro Nakagawa to the repechage heats.
Malaysian Azizulhasni Awang handily defeated China’s Zhang Miao, and Trinidad Tobago’s Njisane Phillip won a closely fought heat against Ed Dawkins (New Zealand) after an uncharacteristically slow flying lap.
“It feels good, the 200m have been horrible. I got really angry when I saw my time. I was a bit cold, but my coach said: ‘Don’t worry.’ I got carried away with the wind up (he went too high up the track), so I just had to reset and ride my way down. I’m good at the sprint, so it’s what I needed to do, I needed to take it back up.”
His coach is none other than 2008 team sprint gold medalist Jamie Staff.
Thanks to the withdrawal of Dutch rider Teun Mulder from the sprints – he opted out of the event to focus on the keirin – Kenny’s 1/16 final was a bye, and, much to the confusion of the crowds, Baugé also was awarded his heat after the withdrawal of the Greek rider Zafeirios Volikakis, who was injured in the qualifying round.
Women’s Team Pursuit
Women’s Team Pursuit – First Round: Heat 1
Women’s Team Pursuit – First Round: Heat 2
Women’s Team Pursuit – First Round: Heat 3
Women’s Team Pursuit – First Round: Heat 4
Women’s Team Pursuit – Final
Women’s Team Pursuit – Bronze medal final
Women’s Team Pursuit – 5th and 6th place final
Women’s Team Pursuit – 7th and 8th place final
Men’s Sprint Qualifying
Men’s Sprint 1/16 Final – Heat 1
Men’s Sprint 1/16 Final – Heat 2
Men’s Sprint 1/16 Final – Heat 3
Men’s Sprint 1/16 Final – Heat 4
Men’s Sprint 1/16 Final – Heat 5
Men’s Sprint 1/16 Final – Heat 6
Men’s Sprint 1/16 Final – Heat 7
Men’s Sprint 1/16 Final – Heat 8
Men’s Sprint 1/16 Final – Heat 9
Men’s Sprint – 1/16 Final Repechage: Heat 1
Men’s Sprint – 1/16 Final Repechage: Heat 2
Men’s Sprint – 1/16 Final Repechage: Heat 3
Men’s Sprint – 1/8 Finals: Heat 1
Men’s Sprint – 1/8 Finals: Heat 2
Men’s Sprint – 1/8 Finals: Heat 3
Men’s Sprint – 1/8 Finals: Heat 4
Men’s Sprint – 1/8 Finals: Heat 6
Men’s Sprint – 1/8 Final Repechage: Heat 1
Men’s Sprint – 1/8 Final Repechage: Heat 2
Men’s Sprint – 9th-12th Place Final
Men’s Omnium – 250m Flying Time Trial
Men’s Omnium – Standings after round 1
Men’s Omnium – 30km Points Race
Men’s Omnium – Standings after round 2
Men’s Omnium – Elimination Race