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London 2012 – Day 3 – Danish Delight


The Men’s Omnium came to a thrilling conclusion in the afternoon session at the Pringle  – the only medal decided today. The Men’s Sprint competition reached the Quarter Final stage and the Women’s Sprint – which kicked off in the morning session – reached the 1/8 round.

Women’s Sprint

Victoria Pendleton of Great Britain and Ekaterina Gnidenko of Russia were first on to the track. Pendleton had been using the F1 inspired leg warmers that both Great Britain and Australia both managed to keep secret until the start of the Games – and they certainly weren’t doing her any harm. Pendelton sat off the front of the Russian, using the height of the track to her advantage. When the time cames she simply flew under Gnidenko and through into the 1/8 Round.

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Anna Meares of Australia and Kayono Maeda of Japan were next up. BBC commentator Hugh Porter described Meares’ performance in the Keirin as ‘shabby’, but that seemed a little harsh. She made the final, made a plan and executed it. It didn’t work – with hindsight she went too early – but she made the Final and she has a Bronze Medal in the Team Sprint this week – albeit one aided by a mistake from the much quicker Great Britain team. By ‘shabby’? Disappointing, by her own enormously high standards, but not shabby… She eaed past Maeda through turns 3 and 4 to take the easiest of wins.

In the third Heat Shuang Guo of China made an almost carbon copy move to glide past Daniela Larreal of Venezuela. The three favourites were through without breaking a sweat.

Virginie Cueff of France took on Kristina Vogel of Germany in Heat 4 and you could sense that Vogel was feeling confident. She took to the front and stayed there – stepping on the gas as late as she dared and never looking troubled – Cueff couldn’t get anywhere near her.

If it hadn’t been for that masterful performance from Vogel, you’d have been forgiven for thinking you were watching the video on a loop. Olga Panarina rode around Hyejin Lee of Korea through the final two turns, winning her heat exactly as Meares and Guo had done.

Lisandra Guerra of Cuba came right up to, but not over, the egde of the Sprinter’s Lane in her win over Juliana Gaviria of Colombia in Heat 6. The comms seemed to discuss it for quite some time, but it hadn’t affected the outcome and, ultimately, it didn’t affect the result.

We thought the Heat between Monique Sullivan of Canada and Wai Sze Lee of Hong Kong looked like it would be close. They’re riders with very different styles but their qualifying times were close and they both looked on form in the Keirin. Sadly,Sullivan fell asleep and Lee dived underneath her and rode away. Impressive ride.

On their day, both Simona Krupeckaite of Lithuania and Willy Kanis of the Netherlands are awesome sprinters – Krupeckaite more often than Kanis. But both are hugely inconsistent and Krupeckaite looked well below her best in the Keirin. She didn’t link below par in her heat – she rode around Kanis at the top of the banking with 400m to go and never looked back. Great ride.

The final Heat of the Round of 16 matched Natasha Hansen of New Zealand with Lyubov Shulika of Ukraine. It was the first super-slow, tactical heat of the round and it appeared that Hansen had Shulika where she wanted her – in sight and in reach. But the Ukrainian was strong and when she went Hansen was slow to react. She closed the gap but Shulika helds her off to go through.

Gnidenko, Gavira and Hansen were in the first of the Repechages, which all ended up being three-up drag races. Hansen went through from the first. In the second, Sullivan led it out with Lee on her shoulder… and just held on with Maeda following them home in third. Larreal, Cueff and Kanis fought over the final spot and Kanis took it up at the front with a lap to go and was never challenged.

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Her reward was an 1/8 Final appointment with Pendleton and she made it clear that she was up for it, trying to put the British rider in the fence. And Pendleton simply rode round her and in to the Quarter Finals… She left her sprint very late, but she had all the time she needed.

Sullivan faced Meares in the next heat and you really couldn’t see the Canadian troubling the Australian. It looked like a recovery ride for Meares, with Sullivan shadowing her all the way round but unable to do anything to mount a challenge.

Hansen ran Guo close-ish but heads to the Reps. All three favourites through to the Quarter Finals. Is there an air of inevitability about this?

Vogel and Shulika should have been close. The Ukranian allowed Vogel to pull out a massive gap, the started to close it up. Shulika turned on the gas with a lap to go but Vogel held her off to go through to the Quarters.

Krupeckaite continued to look the part – taking the win from Panarina – with the Belarussian who’d qualified fifth heading to the Reps.

Lisandra Guerra faced Wai Sze Lee of Hong Kong in the last of the 1/8 heats and it was close but
it was Guerra that progressed,

Shulika comes round Kanis to progress from the first of the Reps. It was a tight finish with Lee just failing to come round Shulika. Panarina, Hansen and Sullivan lined up for the last chance to get into the Quarter Finals. Panarina lived up to her Qualifying position and went through – despite a late challenge from Sullivan…

Men’s Sprint

The start of the Men’s Quarter Finals saw a tactical start from Great Britain’s Jason Kenny and Azizulhasni Awang of Malaysia. Kenny took position on the front but didn’t taking his eyes off Awang – who then took the front. Awang flicked up as Kenny came past and, although Kenny took the win it did look as though Awang had backed off – perhaps knowing he’d be relegated if he did win. Better to try to tie the match up in the second ride.

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Robert Forstemann of the USA and Grégory Baug
é of France took to the track for their first ride. With both riders wary of getting in to a drag race it was a cagey ride that exploded at the bell. The sight of the two big men elbow to elbow round turns 3 and 4 was spectacular – almost terrifying – but Baugé was just too strong for the German. 1-0 Baugé.

Shane Perkins of Australia faced Jimmy Watkins of the USA – the Jamie Staff-trained fireman who had to leave the Worlds because he had run out of vacation days. Watkins had looked superb in the early rounds and lead this one out but Perkins showed his class, speed and experience and simply rode round him. Easy…

The last of the Heats, first time through – and Nijsane Philip of Trinidad & Tobago (like Watkins, coached by Jamie Staff) faced Denis Dmitriev of Russia. It looked close on form – and it was. Philip just held Dmitriev off. If one of the heats was going to go to the best of three, it would surely be this one.

Kenny and Awang took to the track for the second of their rides – and it didn’t last long. The first ride was quick, but this time Kenny took Awang completely by surprise to clinch his Semi Final place. 10.03 seconds for the closing 200. Kenny is on fire.

Another nice, slow start form Forstemann and Baugé – but after a big lead out from Forstemann Baugé comes round him as if he isn’t moving to join Kenny in the Semis.

One-nil down after the first heat, which Perkins dominated, Watkins needed to believe he could take it to three. Perkins controlled it from the front and by the bell Watkins had missed any chance he might have had to get the jump on the Australian. Perkins simply had too much power and held the American off. 2-0. Game Over.

Philip vs Dmitriev always looked like being the closest of the heats and it was, but it wasn’t quite close enough to go to three. It looked like Dmitriev might have been relegated if he’d made it to the line first, but Philip took anyway.

That set up Kenny vs Phillip and Baugé vs Perkins for the Semi Finals but, in the meantime Dmitriev took the 5th-8th from Watkins, Forstemann and Awang.

Men’s Omnium V – Scratch Race

Glenn O’Shea of Australia went in to penultimate Omnium event – the Scratch Race in the lead overall and, favourite to take the Gold – but not by much. This race would almost certainly decide the destination of the medals with 5 riders in with a real chance – Ed Clancy of Great Britain, Lasse Norman Hansen of Denmark, Elia Viviani of Italy and Bryan Coquard of France would all be watching O’Shea – and each other, like hawks.

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The pace was brutal from the start with attack following attack. Viviani tested his rivals resolve, but it all came back together. Then Ireland’s Martyn Irvine and Belgium’s Gijs van Hoecke slipped away and took a quarter of a lap before Juan Esteban Arango of Colombia and Zach Bell of Canada started to chase them down.

That quickly turned into a dangerous group with Coquard among them and Hansen, Clancy and O’Shea stuck in the main bunch. They were frantically trying to close the gap when Hansen hit Clancy’s rear wheel with his front, washed out and when down hard. O’Shea was lucky to miss the sliding Dane who hit the cote d’azur looking around for his spare bike – desperate to get back in to the race which was now all back together.

Battered and bruised, Hansen got back in to the race with just under 40 of the 60 laps remaining as another group got away. Coquard and Viviani were involved away and initially there was no reaction from Clancy, O’Shea and Hansen.

The gap went out to half a lap and then held steady with 35 laps to go but now Hansen was working on his own now to bridge the gap. It was a gutsy – but risky – move from the Dane, but it if he could pull it off it might take him one step closer to a Gold medal.

The break of 8 riders caught the remnant of the bunch with 27 laps to go – with Hansen still hanging off the back. The only consolation for Clancy at the moment was that Coquard and Viviani would probably be the weakest of the top five over the kilo. The bad news was that Hansen looked like he’s also going to take the lap.

It was hard work there were just 12 laps to go when Hansen finally made the junction, but it also looked odds-on that he’d also just won himself a Gold. With half the bunch a lap down it meant that Clancy would be sprinting for 10th at best. His only hope was that an exhausted Hansen would finish last of the riders a lap up, in 9th place.

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In a thrilling close to the race, Bell’s away and Spain’s Eloy Teruel – both a lap up – surged away to try to snatch the won. Ironically, that was good for Clancy – the more riders on the lead lap that finished ahead of Hansen, the better. But he also had to finish at the head of the lapped riders – and he knew it. So he set off in pursuit of Bell and Teruel. They took the first two places and Clancy followed them home,

He couldn’t have done any more from the position he found himself but it was all stacked against him. Hansen wasn’t among the leaders over the line but Coquard and Viviani were – and Hansen’s 6th place left the Briton with a 4 point deficit. Barring a disaster, Hansen was certain to finish within a place or two of Clancy to clinch the Gold. All he could do was hope that he finished far enough ahead of Coquard and Viviani – who were tied for the lead with Hansen on 25 points – to stay in the hunt for a place on the podium.

The real loser, though, was O’Shea. Trapped in the wrong half of the race with Clancy, he hadn’t had enough left to fight for places at the finish and had slipped from 1st to 6th overall, 6 points behind Hansen and almost certainly out of the running for a medal.

Men’s Omnium V – Scratch Race Result
1 BELL Zachary CAN

6 HANSEN Lasse Norman DEN
7 LEA Bobby USA
8 CHO Hosung KOR
10 CLANCY Edward GBR -1 lap
12 PEREZ Walter Fernando ARG
14 O’SHEA Glenn AUS
15 van HOECKE Gijs BEL
18 LINAREZ ZAMBRANO Carlos Daniel VEN -2 laps

Men’s Omnium – Standings after 5 events
1 HANSEN Lasse Norman DEN 25

3 COQUARD Bryan FRA 25
4 KLUGE Roger GER 28
5 CLANCY Edward GBR 29
6 O’SHEA Glenn AUS 31
7 BELL Zachary CAN 39
10 LEA Bobby USA 48
11 CHO Hosung KOR 52
12 ARANGO CARVAJAL Juan Esteban COL 53
13 IRVINE Martyn IRE 53
14 PEREZ Walter Fernando ARG 55
15 van HOECKE Gijs BEL 65
16 CHOI Ki Ho HKG 74
17 LINAREZ ZAMBRANO Carlos Daniel VEN 80

Men’s Omnium VI – 1km Time Trial

The action in the Kilo came in the last three heats – with all the top 5 times coming from riders in the top 6 in the overall standings going in to the event.

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Clancy did absolutely everything he could, clocking 1:00.981 – faster than the time Sir Chris Hoy set to win the Kilometre World Championship in Mallorca in 2007. It was a phenomenal ride and nobody else came close. O’Shea in the same heat rode a very respectable time of 1:02.314 – which put him 2nd at that point.

Kluge started 4th – a point ahead of Clancy went 4th with a time of 1:03.144 but his opposite number in the heat, Coquard, just pipped him with a 1:03.078. It was much better than expect and if Hansen couldn’t match it, he’d snatch the Gold.

In the Final heat Viviani, as expected, we off the pace of the leaders – clocking 1:04.239 to go 9th. Hansen, though, was flying and the speed just kept building – the Dane crossing the line with a time of 1:02.314. It was almost a second and a half off Clancy’s pace, but it was good enough for 2nd place – and that was good enough for Gold. Coquard took the Silver and Clancy the Bronze

Men’s Omnium 1km Time Trial Result
1 CLANCY Edward GBR 1:00.981

2 HANSEN Lasse Norman DEN 1:02.314
3 O’SHEA Glenn USA 1:02.513
4 COQUARD Bryan FRA 1:03.078
5 KLUGE Roger GER 1:03.144
6 ARCHBOLD Shane NZL 1:03.290
7 ARANGO CARVAJAL Juan Esteban COL 1:03.793
8 CHO Hosung KOR 1:04.150
9 VIVIANI Elia ITA 1:04.239
10 BELL Zachary CAN 1:04.328
11 IRVINE Martyn IRE 1:04.558
12 van HOECKE Gijs BEL 1:04.748
13 LEA Bobby USA 1:04.853
14 TERUEL ROVIRA Eloy ESP 1:05.463
15 CHOI Ki Ho HKG 1:06.071
16 LINAREZ ZAMBRANO Carlos Daniel VEN 1:06.773
17 PEREZ Walter Fernando ARG 1:07.523
18 MANSILLA Luis CHI 1:08.517

Men’s Omnium – Final Standing
HANSEN Lasse Norman DEN 27


4 KLUGE Roger GER 33
5 O’SHEA Glenn AUS 34
8 BELL Zachary CAN 49
10 ARANGO CARVAJAL Juan Esteban COL 60
11 CHO Hosung KOR 60
12 LEA Bobby USA 61
13 IRVINE Martyn IRE 64
14 PEREZ Walter Fernando ARG 72
15 van HOECKE Gijs BEL 77
16 CHOI Ki Ho HKG 89
17 LINAREZ ZAMBRANO Carlos Daniel VEN 96
18 MANSILLA Luis CHI 104


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