The morning session on the third day of competition at the London Velodrome saw qualification and the opening round of the Men’s Sprint competition and the opening event of the Men’s Omnium – the 250m Flying Lap.
After the top 10 qualifiers at the World Championships in Melbourne had all gone under 10 seconds, great things were expected from the ultra-fast London track. Sir Chris Hoy had predicted a 9.7 second run from Great Britain team mate Jason Kenny – which would have broken his own Olympic Record (Kévin Sireau’s World Record of 9.572 was set on the vertigo inducing 333m Moscow track and is unlikely to be broken anywhere else…).
In the event, the times disappointed. Yes, the Olympic qualification rules mean that half of those 10 sub-10 second riders from Melbourne were absent. But, still, only 3 riders breaking the psychological barrier was a surprise. On the other hand, Hoy was right… Kenny clocked 9.713 to head the competition and take that Olympic Record.
The curious rules saw him take a bye into the 1/8 Finals. Even more curiously, Zafeirios Volkakis failed to take the line in his match with second fastest Grégory Baugé of France who, in effect, also received a bye… The Greeks protested that they weren’t ready, but to no avail.
Once the racing started we saw a physical battle between Shane Perkins of Australia and Hodei Mazquiaran of Spain. Perkins muscled his way through on the last corner to take it. By contrast, Robert Forstemann of Germany totally controlled his heat against Bernard Esterhuizen, moving to the front and just putting in enough effort to keep the South African behind him. Not quite the bye that Kenny and Baugé got, but not too taxing.
Heat 5 saw another physical battle between Damian Zielinski of Poland and Denis Dmitriev of Russia. The big Pole caught Dmitriev napping and went for a gap, but the Russian came back and rode round him at the bell. Dmitriev held on, despite Zieilinski wandering out of the Sprinter’s lane on the run in.
More sketchy riding in the 6th Heat which saw Venezuelan Hersony Canelon cross the line ahead of Czech Pavel Kelemen, but to get there he’d forced Kelemen off the track – and then followed him down on to the cote d’azur. The relegation, when it came, was no surprise to anyone.
Heat 7 saw a fine ride from Jimmy Watkins of the USA. True, Seiichiro Nakagawa of Japan fell asleep, but Watkins saw it, found he gap and powered his way round the track, giving his opponent no chance to recover.
Long-time friend of trackcycling, Malaysia’s Azizulhasni Awang was disappointing in qualifying, but dominant in his heat. After a couple of flicks to disorient Miao Zhang of China, he powered away to take an easy win. And in the last heat Nijsane Philip of Trinidad and Tobago simply swept round the outside of Eddie Dawkins of New Zealand.
The opening session this evening will see all the losers from this morning’s heats ride again in the Repechages. We’ll then have 1/8 heats, 1/8 Repechages and the 9-12 Final, with the conclusion of the competition tomorrow.
1 KENNY Jason GBR 9.713 OR
2 BAUGE Gregory FRA 9.952
3 PERKINS Shane AUS 9.987
4 FORSTEMANN Robert GER 10.072
5 DMITRIEV Denis RUS 10.088
6 CANELON Hersony VEN 10.123
7 NAKAGAWA Seiichiro JPN 10.144
8 ZHANG Miao CHN 10.155
9 DAWKINS Edward NZL 10.201
10 PHILLIP Njisane Nicholas TRI 10.202
11 AWANG Azizulhasni MAS 10.226
12 WATKINS Jimmy USA 10.247
13 KELEMEN Pavel CZE 10.311
14 ZIELINSKI Damian POL 10.323
15 ESTERHUIZEN Bernard RSA 10.350
16 MAZQUIARAN URIA Hodei ESP 10.604
17 VOLIKAKIS Zafeirios GRE 10.663
Round of 16 Result
1 KENNY Jason GBR
1 BAUGE Gregory FRA
DSQ VOLIKAKIS Zafeirios GRE
1 PERKINS Shane AUS
2 MAZQUIARAN URIA Hodei ESP
1 FORSTEMANN Robert GER
2 ESTERHUIZEN Bernard RSA
1 DMITRIEV Denis RUS
2 ZIELINSKI Damian POL
1 KELEMEN Pavel CZE
REL CANELON Hersony VEN
1 WATKINS Jimmy USA
2 NAKAGAWA Seiichiro JPN
1 AWANG Azizulhasni MAS
2 ZHANG Miao CHN
1 PHILLIP Njisane Nicholas TRI
2 DAWKINS Edward NZL
Round of 16 Repechages Draw
CANELON Hersony VEN
DAWKINS Edward NZL
ZIELINSKI Damian POL
NAKAGAWA Seiichiro JPN
MAZQUIARAN URIA Hodei ESP
ESTERHUIZEN Bernard RSA
ZHANG Miao CHN
Men’s Omnium I – 250m Flying Lap
The opening event of the Men’s Omnium gave us a glimpse of the balance between sprinters and endurance in this all rounders event, with almost two seconds between the fastest and slowest qualifiers. Unlike the heptathlon and decathlon, though, the amount you win by is (almost) irrelevant – you can only get a one point advantage over second place.
The most notable performance was by Ed Clancy of Great Britain – whose pace over 200m would have put him in the top 4 of the Sprint qualifiers! Not bad for an endurance rider… Over 250m he clocked 12.556 – over half a second ahead of second placed Shane Archbold of New Zealand.
Ominously for Clancy, Australian World Champion Glenn O’Shea – who has historically been a much stronger bunch race rider – was third fastest, a tenth behind Archbold. Lasse Norman Hansen of Denmark was 4th, Bryan Coquard of France 5th and Liquigas sprinter Elia Viviani of Italy 6th.
Flying Lap Result – and Standings after Event I
1 CLANCY Edward GBR 12.556 1
2 ARCHBOLD Shane NZL 13.112 2
3 O’SHEA Glenn AUS 13.222 3
4 HANSEN Lasse Norman DEN 13.236 4
5 COQUARD Bryan FRA 13.347 5
6 VIVIANI Elia ITA 13.359 6
7 BELL Zachary CAN 13.406 7
8 ARANGO CARVAJAL Juan Esteban COL 13.469 8
9 IRVINE Martyn IRE 13.504 9
10 LEA Bobby USA 13.559 10
11 KLUGE Roger GER 13.571 1
12 CHO Hosung KOR 13.614 12
13 van HOECKE Gijs BEL 13.633 13
14 TERUEL ROVIRA Eloy ESP 13.655 14
15 CHOI Ki Ho HKG 13.659 15
16 LINAREZ ZAMBRANO Carlos Daniel VEN 13.863 16
17 PEREZ Walter Fernando ARG 14.036 17
18 MANSILLA Luis CHI 14.270 18