London 2012: Yet more World records on day two as Great Britain runs riot
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Friday, August 03, 2012

London 2012: Yet more World records on day two as Great Britain runs riot

by Ben Atkins at 2:15 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Track, Olympics
 
Gold for the men's Pursuit Team, with the women by far the fastest; Victoria Pendleton takes inaugural women’s Keirin

victoria pendletonThe men’s Pursuit Team of Great Britain successfully defended the Olympic title that it took four years ago in Beijing, China, by setting yet another World record. Not to be outdone, the women of Great Britain emulated their male teammates on the previous evening, and broke the World record that they had set at the World championships in April. The new time of 3:15.669 was .051 seconds quicker than the previous best and was, significantly, almost four seconds quicker than the nearest challenger in the United States.

Meanwhile, Britain’s Victoria Pendleton took the women’s Keirin from the front, ahead of Guo Shuang of China, and delighted bronze medallist Lee Wai Sze of Hong Kong.

Great Britain retains men’s Team Pursuit in yet another World record
Great Britain team of Ed Clancy, Geraint Thomas, Steven Burke and Peter Kennaugh went just fractions of a second slower than its World record, set the day before, to cruise through to the final to set up a battle for bronze with old enemy Australian team of Jack Bobridge, Glenn O’Shea, Rohan Dennis and Michael Hepburn. It was Russia [Evgeny Kovalev, Ivan Kovalev, Alexey Markov and Alexander Serov] that upset the qualification times however, to set the fourth fastest time from all the other six teams however, to overtake Denmark to set up a bronze medal contest with New Zealand [Sam Bewley, Westley Gough, Marc Ryan and Jesse Sergent].

A mid race wobble from the all-blacks gave Russia a brief sniff of a possible medal at the halfway point but, once both teams were down to three riders, New Zealand pulled away to finish more than two seconds clear in 3:55.952.

Great Britain was three-tenths of a second up after the first kilometre; Bobridge pulled the Australians back a little in the next few laps, but the gap had opened to more than four-tenths by the half way point. This was where the British team began to accelerate, and managed to increase its advantage to a second and a half with a kilometre to go; as the Australians went down to three riders, it began to open more and more.

Finally, Great Britain shed its fourth rider with less than half a lap to go, and the three remaining men crossed the line side by side in 3:51.659; more than eight-tenths quicker than the time set in qualification.

Result men’s Team Pursuit
1. Great Britain (Ed Clancy, Geraint Thomas, Steven Burke and Peter Kennaugh)
2. Australia (Jack Bobridge, Glenn O’Shea, Rohan Dennis and Michael Hepburn)
3. New Zealand (Sam Bewley, Westley Gough, Marc Ryan and Jesse Sergent)
4. Russia (Evgeny Kovalev, Ivan Kovalev, Alexey Markov and Alexander Serov)

Victoria Pendleton takes inaugural women’s Keirin in front of her home crowd
Great Britain’s Victoria Pendleton bounced back from disqualification in the previous day’s Team Sprint to take first blood against big rival Anna Meares of Australia in the first round. Both riders found themselves near the back as the derny bike pulled off, but Meares carved a way through, with Pendleton on her wheel, and the local favourite came around as the eased up on the line. The first race had seen Germany’s Kristina Vogel and Russia’s Ekaterina Gnidenko go through, with Guo Shuang of China and Simona Krupekaite going through in the third.

With the nature of the Keirin offering riders a second chance however, Wai Sze Lee of Hong Kong, Willy Kanis of the Netherlands and Canada’s Monique Sullivan going through in the first repechage, and France’s Clara Sanchez, New Zealand’s Natasha Hansen, and Venezuela’s Daniela Larreal going through in the second.

Meares won her second round race from the front once more, with Sullivan and Lee qualifying for the final in second and third behind her. In the second race, Pendleton burst through to the front of the line with a lap and a half to go, and managed to hold off the attentions of Guo and Sanchez on the line.

In the final race, Meares took the front as soon as the derny bike pulled away, but Pendleton flew by her at the bell as the Australian was swamped by the rest of the field. The British rider led through the whole of the final lap, and crossed the line a wheel clear of Guo and Lee.

Result women’s Keirin
1. Victoria Pendleton (Great Britain)
2. Guo Shuang (China)
3. Lee Wai Sze (Hong Kong)
4. Clara Sanchez (France)
5. Anna Meares (Australia)
6. Monique Sullivan (Canada)

Great Britain breaks another record in the women’s Team Pursuit qualification
As the first of the ten teams to ride the Belarus trio of Maryia Lohvinava, Aksana Papko and Tatsiana Sharakova set an Olympic record in the event’s debut in the Games, but the time of 3:22.850 was not to sit at the top of the leader board for very long. The fourth team of the Netherlands - made up of Kirsten Wild, Amy Pieters and Ellen van Dijk - went more than a second faster, to set 3:21.602, which stood up to the German team of Charlotte Becker, Lisa Brrennauer and time trial silver medalist Judith Arndt.

The Canada team of Gillian Carleton, Jasmin Glaesser and Tara Whitten lowered the best time to 3:19.816; it was a little slower than expected, but was only just broken by the United States trio of Sarah Hammer, Dotsie Bausch and Jennie Reed, who would pull away as Hammer was on the front, but drift back when one of the others was. Hammer crossed the line a long way ahead of her teammates, but they still managed a new US record of 3:19.406.

The Australian team, of Annette Edmondson Melissa Hoskins and Josephine Tomic, were on schedule to beat the US time, but faded to second place. The New Zealand trio of Lauren Ellis, Jaime Nielsen and Alison Shanks also started fast but was unable to hold their pace and slumped to fourth at the finish.

The World champion Great Britain team of Dani King, Laura Trott and Joanna Rowsell was the last to start. The home riders ignored the times set by the teams before them, sticking to their reported plan of aiming at their own World record, and broke it by five-hundredths of a second.

Women’s Team Pursuit qualification
1. Great Britain (Dani King, Laura Trott and Joanna Rowsell)
2. United States (Sarah Hammer, Dotsie Bausch and Jennie Reed)
3. Australia (Annette Edmondson Melissa Hoskins and Josephine Tomic)
4. Canada (Gillian Carleton, Jasmin Glaesser and Tara Whitten)

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