Track day 6: Women: Omnium: Individual Pursuit, Scratch Race, 500m TT (final) – Women: Sprint final; Men: Keirin final: London Olympic Velodrome – km

Track day 6: Hoy, Meares and Trott win final three golds

Trott on track for gold (AP Photo/Tim Ireland)

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Women’s omnium

Laura Trott brought Great Britain its seventh gold medal of the
Olympic Games, putting in a new track record in the 500m time trial, the
last event of the omnium, to move into the overall victory ahead of the
USA’s Sarah Hammer.

The 20-year-old Trott, who was part of the winning pursuit team,
became the country’s second double gold medalist after Jason Kenny.

Hammer was leading the overall standings in the omnium by one point
going into the finale, but the 500m time trial has never been her
strongest event. Despite posting her personal best time, she was only
ranked fourth in the test behind Australian Annette Edmondson
(Australia), who secured the bronze medal with the second fastest time
of the night.

Day one: The pecking order is established

The women’s omnium got underway with the 250m time trial, a flying
lap which was sure to be the domain of Frenchwoman Clara Sanchez. The
sprinter had already shown her speed with a fourth place overall in the
women’s keirin, and as expected, she posted the fastest time and a new
track record in 14.058. Australia’s Edmondson was two tenths outside the
mark, bettering the time of notable road sprinter Kirsten Wild
(Netherlands). In a stunning performance of speed and technique, home
favourite Trott sped around the track, quicker even than Sanchez, but
only by one thousandth of a second.

That result put Trott in a prime position heading into the points
race, but her competitors had a challenge in store. After a
lackadaisical 10 laps, Edmondson opened with a win in the first sprint
over two-time omnium world champion Whitten. Trott fired back, coming
over the top of Cuban Marlies Mejias to win sprint two.

Now that the favourites had laid down trumps, it was time for the
outsiders to attack: Belgian Jolien D’Hoore, Malgorzata Wojtyra, Maria
Luisa Calle (Colombia), Angie Gonzalez (Venezuela) and Russian Evgeniya
Romanyuta slipped away, staying clear for the third sprint which D’Hoore

It was an anglophonic alliance that went on to take a lap before the
next sprint: Hammer, Whitten and Kiwi Jo Kiesanowski went clear and
worked smoothly together to bring themselves on the same lap as the
leader D’Hoore. The break succeeded in lapping the field before the next
sprint, won by Tatsianan Sharakova (Belarus), who then kept the
pressure on to gain a lap solo.

Trott was now up against the entire field, who would not let her get
away. She was forced to respond to attacks from Hammer, Whitten and
Edmondson who were content to let Wojtyra mop up more sprints along the
way. Heading into the finale, the Polish rider led by an unbeatable
margin of six points over Whitten, with Sharakova and Hammer and D’Hoore
tied for third.

Trott got what she could out of the finale, taking the dash to the
line over Sharakova, while Whitten smartly slotted in for two points in
third place to secure third, with D’Hoore and Hammer rounding out the
top five.

The result put Hammer out on top with 10 points, tied with Whitten,
while Trott was one point in arrears. Edmondson sat fourth, four points
behind the leaders heading into the elimination race.

Sharakova took an early exit to drop down the standings, while the
top five in the standings rode attentively at the front. Trott found
herself too far back, having to slip through the middle in the sprint
for 10th to avoid elimination. The British rider then launched a brisk
acceleration that sent Whitten drifting back. Although she fought to get
back in, it was too late for the Canadian and her eighth place pushed
her back to fourth overall by the end.

The finale came down to a hotly contested final three, with Edmondson
leading out the sprint for third then getting passed before the line by
Trott and Hammer. The sprint for the victory started right out of the
first turn, with Hammer trying to get the jump on Trott, but being
unable to match the British rider’s speed. Trott’s win, her second of
the day, put her on top although tied with Hammer at 12 points.

Day two: all about timing

In the individual purusit, Hammer showed why she holds the world
record by winning in a time nearly a full second quicker than Trott,
while Whitten also posted a strong time for third. Edmondson held the
fourth best time to leave the standings in that order ahead of the
scratch race in the evening.

The scratch race was an aggressive affair, with Trott and Hammer
trading blows, while Whitten fought to protect her position in the medal
hunt from the onslaught of Belgium’s d’Hoore and Edmondson. In the end,
the race came down to a bunch sprint with Hammer taking the lead with
two laps to go and setting such a furious pace that Trott was swamped in
the final push to the line. The British rider fought back hard to take
third, with Edmondson getting over Hammer to win the race.

Whitten lost her third place spot to Edmondson due to a sixth place
finish behind Wild and d’Hoore in the bunch sprint. Heading into the
final event, the 500m time trial, Hammer held a two point lead over
Trott, but the race was a specialty of the British rider. In the world
championships and the London test event, Hammer’s best 500 finish was
fourth behind Trott, who won both. Hammer had to be top two, or if third
place had to beat Trott on the accumulated time of their flying lap,
pursuit and 500.

It did not come down to that, however. Both riders put in their
personal best times, Trott in a new track record of 35.111 to win the
event, Hammer in 35.900 for the fourth best time behind Edmondson
(35.140) and Clara Sanchez (35.451), but the result put the American one
point down on the British rider.

A seventh gold for Great Britain, a second silver for Hammer and a bronze medal for the world champion Edmondson.

Men’s keirin

Chris Hoy rode into history to become Great Britain’s most decorated
Olympian, netting his sixth career gold medal by winning in the men’s
keirin in a scintillating final race of the 2012 Olympic Games track
cycling competition.

Hoy bested German Max Levy and New Zealand’s Simon van Velthooven to bring the British crowd to its feet in rapturous joy.

The kilomter time trial may have been axed from the Olympic programme
after Hoy’s gold medal in Athens in 2004, but that didn’t stop him from
using that talent to power away in each of the rounds to a magnificent
margin of victory.

Matched up against those two riders in addition to Malaysia’s Awang
Azizulhasni, Shane Perkins (Australia) and Teun Mulder (Netherlands),
Hoy slotted in the middle of the line-up behind the derny as the others
fought for the protected spot in front in the six-lap race.

Levy and Perkins ganged up on Awang, with the German taking the
derny, pushing Awang toward the back, but that didn’t stop the scrappy
Malaysian. Just as the derny prepared to pull off, he made his jump to
the front, his early acceleration matched by Hoy.

Heading into two laps to go, Hoy made his move going around Awang on
the outside and hitting the front. He maintained his violent pace,
daring the others to hit the wind. They never did. Levy finally made his
move on the outside in the final two bends, but Hoy had the shortest
route in the sprinter’s lane and the German never made it to the front.

Hoy re-accelerated as Levy fought off the push from Mulder in the
middle, but it was van Velthooven who slipped up through the center to
bring the silver medal to a three-way photo finish.

The German got the silver by a slim margin over the Kiwi, to bring his country’s haul to five, three of which were silver.