The new Velodrome in London promised to produce some fast and entertaining races, and it certainly didn’t disappoint. Over the last week we’ve seen various thrills and spills on the boards which have kept the crowds entertained and on the edge of their seats. Team GB again showed their dominance on the track, but they didn’t have it all their own way with several upsets. So as the dust settles on the track and the stands are left empty at the London Velodrome, we take a quick look at the action from the last week.
Men’s team sprint
1. Hindes, Hoy, Kenny (Team GB)
2. Bauge, D’almeida, Sireau (France)
3. Enders, Forstemann, Levy (Germany)
The men’s team sprint began with some opening night jitters, as the first two heats – Poland and Venezuela followed by China and Japan – suffered from starting problems. The mechanical problems continued in the heat between GB and Germany when the home team’s newest rider, Philip Hindes, tumbled to the ground in the first turn. As this was due to a technical fault in the first 100m the race was able to be restarted. The Team GB riders were favourites going into this discipline and it didn’t take long for them to stamp their authority on the track with the British trio breaking an Olympic record during qualification. The final saw the British riders come up against France’s Gregory Bauge, Kevin Sireau and Michael d’Almeida who had beaten New Zealand in qualifying. Hoy, Kenny and Hindes looked in control from the start and powered to voctory over the three laps. During the ride for bronze, Germany’s Enders, Forstemann and Levy rode consistently quick to best Australia (Perkins, Sunderland and Glaetzer) by 0.149 seconds to take the third step of the podium.
Women’s team sprint
1. Vogel, Welte, (Germany)
2. Jinjie, Shuang (China)
3. McCulloch, Meares (Australia)
Germany came away with a shock win in the women’s team sprint with the favourites Jessica Varnish and Victoria Pendleton of Team GB being disqualified during qualification much to the disappointment of the home crowd. This wasn’t to be the only disqualification seen in this discipline as the Chinese pair of Jinjie and Shuang were relegated to a silver medal due to a similar infringement in the final against the Germans. Ukraine went up against Australian riders Kaarle McCulloch and Anna Meares in the bronze medal final. Australia beat Ukraine to win the bronze, with Anna Meares adding another medal to her collection, while for Kaarle McCulloch the bronze was a first.
Men’s team pursuit
1. Clancy, Burke, Kennaugh, Thomas (Team GB)
2. Bobridge, O’shea, Dennis, Hepburn (Australia)
3. Bewley, Ryan, Sergent, Gate (New Zealand)
Team GB set its second world record in the final heat of the men’s team pursuit against Australia to win Team GB’s second Olympic gold medal in track cycling. The four man team that consisted of Clancy, Burke, Kennaugh, Thomas, blazed around the track in 3:51.659 to soundly defeat Australia, much to the delight of the home crowd in London. The four riders from New Zealand earned the bronze medal by beating Russia in the round’s third fastest time. This was a repeat performance from their 2008 Olympic Games bronze in Beijing for the Kiwis.
Women’s team pursuit
1. King, Trott, Rowsel (Team GB)
2. Hammer, Bausch, Dennis, Tamayo (United States)
3. Whitten, Carleton, Glaesser (Canada)
The Team GB women’s team pursuit team continued the British dominance on the track setting another world record and claiming a gold medal in front of a star studded crowd at the London velodrome. The British riders had broken the world record while competing against Canada in qualification, but went one better smashing the their previous record set riding against the USA in the final. The Aussies were pushed into the bronze medal round against Team Canada after losing to the USA in qualifying. More disappointment would come for the team from the land down under as the Canucks won the by a wafer thin margin to claim third position.
1. Pendleton (Team GB)
2. Guo (China)
3. Sze Lee (Hong Kong)
Victoria Pendleton became the first woman to win Olympic gold in the keirin as the event saw its debut in London tonight. The defending Olympic champion in the individual sprint unleashed a perfectly timed burst of power, capitalizing on an earlier surge by rival Anna Meares to jump clear of her five competitors heading into the last half lap.
1. Hoy (Team GB)
2. Levy (German)
3. van Velthoove (New Zealand)
Chris Hoy rode into history to become Team GB’s most decorated Olympian. His victory in the men’s keirin was the sixth gold of his Olympic career. Hoy fended off German Max Levy and on the final corner and left New Zealand’s Simon van Velthooven and Dutchman Teun Mulder to battle it out for third. The British crowd responded with a rapturous standing ovation for the Scotsman.
1. Hansen (Denmark)
2. Coquard (France)
3. Clancy (Team GB)
Denmark’s Lasse Norman Hansen put forth an impressive final night of racing to bring his country its first cycling gold medal in the inaugural edition of the men’s omnium. After a gutsy effort to overcome a crash in the scratch race and chase down a breakaway of eight that had lapped the field, Hansen was able to ride the second fastest kilometre time trial to secure his overall victory by two points over Frenchman Bryan Coquard.
1. Trott (Great Britain)
2. Hammer (United States of America)
3. Edmondson (Australia)
Laura Trott gave Team GB further cause to celebrate winning a gold medal in the women’s omnium, and in the process put in a new track record in the 500m time trial. But the British rider left it until the last event of the omnium to secure overall victory ahead of the USA’s Sarah Hammer. 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.
1. Kenny (Team GB)
2. Bauge (France)
3. Perkins (Australia)
Great Britain’s Jason Kenny went undefeated through the three days of men’s individual sprint tournament to claim his second gold medal of the 2012 Olympic Games. It only took two races for the man from Bolton to dispatch Frenchman Grégory Baugé, who won the silver medal. A bronze medal was some consolation for the Australian Shane Perkins. His win over Njisane Phillip from Trinidad & Tobago was nearly a formality, but the underdog 21 year old did not go down without a fight. Phillip tried in both cases to get the jump on Perkins, but both times the Australian timed his acceleration perfectly to win the bronze in two.
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1. Meares (Australia)
2. Pendleton (Team GB)
3. Shuang (China)
Anna Meares gave the Australians their first cycling gold medal of the 2012 Olympic Games, defeating defending Olympic individual sprint champion and home hero Victoria Pendleton in two races. While Meares was clearly better in the second race, pushing Pendleton to a tactical disadvantage by pinning her high on the track and stripping her of the long sprint which is her strongest suit, it was the first round relegation of Pendleton that was the controversy of the night. Bronze medalist from Beijing Guo Shuang repeated her performance, defeating German Kristina Vogel in two races as well.
So there you have it, all the action from the last week on the boards. As usual we want to know your opinion. What were your favourite moments? Let us know in the comments section below.