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London 2012 – Day 2 Preview

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Day 2 of competition at London 2012 is one of contrasts – with the action packed Women’s Keirin and the rapid but majestic start of the Women’s Team Pursuit and conclusion of the Men’s Team Pursuit. The 3 hour session sees the Men ride two 4km efforts inside two hours and the Women three Keirins in three Hours.

The Keirin kicks off the session, but the Team Pursuit is the first Gold to be awarded. Great Britain will be looking to ease through into the First Round proper of the Team Pursuit, inspired by their Gold medal winning former team mate Bradley Wiggins. Wiggins chose not to defend his track titles to concentrate on the Tour details France and the Olympic Time Trial.

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With the qualifying round behind them, the teams line up for the First Round, where they will are paired up based on qualifying times – first vs fifth, second vs sixth, third vs seventh and fourth vs eighth. The fastest two winners from the First Round will ride for Gold, the other two winning teams for Bronze.

Heat 1
Spain vs Colombia

Heat 2
Russia vs Netherlands

Heat 3
Australia vs New Zealand

Heat 4
Great Britain vs Denmark

Trying to stop the Great Britain squad of Ed Clancy, Geraint Thomas, Steven Burke and Peter Kennaugh from defending their title from Beijing will be – in approximate order of ‘danger’ – Australia, Russia, Spain, Denmark, New Zealand, the Netherlands and Colombia.

But after Thursday’s World Record set by the same Great Britain quartet that took the World Championship in April – and despite the 3 second cushion they had over Australia in Qualifying – it’s hard to see anyone else challenging for a place in the Final. Whether the Aussies can claw that much back remains to be seen. It’s not impossible, but it will be an uphill struggle.

And the format means that Great Britain can’t take it easy in their First Round match – they not only have to win, they have to set one of the quickest two times. The work the team have done on recovery in the ‘Golden Hour’ between rides will be absolutely crucial if they are to defend their title from 2008 and double Great Britain’s Gold medal tally in the velodrome.

The Women’s Keirin sees three or four Women with a real shot at the Gold – in a race where anything can happen. With World Champion Anna Meares saving herself for the Sprint, it’s hard to look beyond Simona Krupeckaite of Lithuania for the Gold and Shuang Guo of China – although Victoria Pendleton, on her day, is capable of taking the win. And these, so often, have been her days. Will her travails in the Team Sprint spur her on, on drag her down?

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Outside best include Olga Panarina of Belarus, Willy Kanis of the Netherlands, Kristina Vogel of Germany and Fatehah Mustapa of Malaysia.

The event starts with three heats (with repechages), with the best 12 riders progressing to the second round. The top six riders go through from the second round to the final, with the bottom six competing again for 7th–12th place rankings.

Heat 1
Clara SANCHEZ FRA

Monique SULLIVAN CAN
Juliana GAVIRIA RENDON COL
Lisandra GUERRA RODRIGUEZ CUB
Kristina VOGEL Germany
Ekaterina GNIDENKO RUS

Heat 2
Kaarle McCULLOCH AUS

Victoria PENDLETON  GBR
Fatehah MUSTAPA MAS
Willy KANIS NED
Natasha HANSEN NZL
Lyubov SHULIKA UKR

Heat 3
Olga PANARINA BLR

Shuang GUO CHN
Wai Sze LEE HKG
Hyejin LEE KOR
Simona KRUPECKAITE LTU
Daniela Grelui LARREAL VEN

trackcycling predictions

Men’s Team Pursuit

GOLD Great Britain
SILVER Australia
BRONZE Russia

Women’s Keirin

GOLD Simona Krupeckaite LTU
SILVER Anna Meares AUS
BRONZE Victoria Pendleton GBR

Women’s Team Pursuit

As with the Men’s competition, the Women’s Team Pursuit is held over two days and the Qualifying round takes place today with 10 nations gunning for 8 places in Saturday’s First Round.

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Once again, Great Britain and Australia will be the clear favourites – having trade
d World Records at both the London round of the World Cup in February and again at the World Championships in April. Great Britain came out on top earlier in the year and it would be a brave man that bet against Dani King, Laura Trott and Joanna Rowsell.

But nothing is certain and – as well as the Australians – New Zealand, Canada and the USA all have a good chance of getting among the medals.

Qualifying Heats
1 Belarus

2 Ukraine
3 China
4 Netherlands
5 Germany
6 Canada
7 United States
8 Australia
9 New Zealand
10 Great Britain


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