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First Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Date published:
August 07, 2012, 1:00 BST
  • Video: GB women ecstatic at team pursuit gold

    Great Britain set three world records on their way to gold
    Article published:
    August 06, 2012, 21:06 BST
    Cycling News

    Rowsell and King revel in being event's first winners

    Team GB completed their dominance in the women's team pursuit event on Saturday by winning Olympic gold and breaking their own world record once again. The trio of Dani King, Joanna Rowsell and Laura Trott crossed the line in a time of 3:15.669 - the best time in history and almost four seconds faster than the USA, who were their opponents in the gold medal race.

    It was the sixth time in as many races that Team GB had broken the world record in the build up to the Games and during the qualifying rounds. In this video Rowsell and King reflect on winning gold in front of their home fans and their delight in becoming the first ever Olympic champions in that discipline.

  • Kenny proves capable substitute for ex-Olympic sprint champion Hoy

    Jason Kenny (Great Britain)
    Article published:
    August 06, 2012, 22:00 BST
    Laura Weislo

    British sprinter overpowers Baugê in final

    British Cycling stunned the world when it put 24-year-old Jason Kenny into the men's individual sprint and not the defending champion Chris Hoy for its home Olympic Games in London. After Kenny soundly defeated Frenchman Grégory Baugé in the gold medal final, all doubts about that decision went out the window.

    Kenny admitted to feeling a little pressure toward the end, knowing that Hoy was a proven closer, and pointing to the new UCI selection process which prevented the pair from going head to head for silver and gold as they had in Beijing.

    "If you look back in history, when it comes down to those really important rides, when it really matters, nine times out of 10, [Hoy] stepped up. That's why he's got so many medals and so much success in sport - he's got that killer instinct to finish off the race and put it to bed when it matters," Kenny said.

    "It wasn't until the last second, when I stepped up for the last ride that it dawned on me, that if Chris were in my shoes there was no way he would lose this one. It was just a case of getting up there and justifying my place. So I was really pleased obviously. It's just a real shame we couldn't bring both riders in there."

    Hoy and Kenny got to share in the gold medal earlier in the Games, when they were part of the winning team sprint squad with Philip Hindes, but this time Kenny was able to complete his lap of honour in front of the crowds.

    "I really enjoy winning the team sprint, but to be honest, I couldn't really savour the moment this time because I felt so sick after the finals, so I kind of let everybody else do the victory lap while I sat down and tried to keep the lunch down. So it was nice to enjoy the moment this time and enjoy the crowd, and just kind...

  • Baugé leads press conference following sprint defeat

    France's Gregory Bauge is pictured after competing against Britain's gold medalist Jason Kenny in the London 2012 Olympic Games men's sprint final
    Article published:
    August 07, 2012, 2:58 BST
    Daniel Benson

    Frenchman questions Olympic champion's preparation

    Post-event interviews are routine affairs at the Olympic Games. The athletes are shepherded from paddock to paddock as they answer numerous questions - although usually the same ones - before a mass-press conference is held after the medal ceremonies. The athletes enter, the press ask their questions, the riders leave, and journalists scuttle back to their laptops as they attempt to meet deadlines. It's a tried and tested formula.

    But the men's sprint press conference broke from type as silver medallist Grégory Baugé became the interviewer, peppering gold medallist Jason Kenny with questions regarding the rider's preparations for the Games.

    Heading into the event Kenny, who was selected ahead of defending champion Chris Hoy, had never beaten Baugé in their previous two meetings in major championships. However, after setting the fastest time in qualifying and sauntering through his heats, a match-up with the French world champion awaited in the final. Could the upstart upstage the maestro of match sprinting or could the Frenchman derail British success on the track?

    In the end Kenny won the first two rounds, beating Baugé into second place with greater speed and guile. Game set and match.

    The crowds cheered, Pat McQuaid handed out the medals and the volume knob was turned up so we could all hear the never-ending loop of God Save the Queen. The formula remained intact.

    But after taking to the press conference stage Baugé raised his hand, asking if he could ask a question. To Kenny. There was an odd silence, the press corps' ears pricked up as Baugé opened with his first move. It was a slow motion replay of their race, with three questions, three...

  • Phillip impresses in debut Olympic Games

    Njisane Nicholas Phillip (Trinidad and Tobago) in action in the men's sprint 1/4 finals.
    Article published:
    August 07, 2012, 11:53 BST
    Daniel Benson

    Trinidad and Tobago talent 4th in individual sprint

    Njisane Nicholas Phillip. Remember that name because in Rio de Janeiro in four year's time the Trinidad and Tobago rider could be a favourite for gold in the men's sprint. The 21-year-old, riding in his first Olympic Games in London, finished fourth this time around but the experience has clearly provided enough enthusiasm and confidence for the future.

    "It was hard getting here but the target was 2016 so tell them to watch out in 2016 because I'm coming," he said. Phillip came into London as a relative unknown, despite winning the Pan American Championships earlier this year. And despite a slow qualifying time of 10.202 earlier in the week he battled back to the semi-finals.

    Phillip first saw off Edward Dawkins (New Zealand) before beating the experienced Robert Forstemann (Germany) with a brutal turn of speed. The semi-final with Jason Kenny proved a bridge too far, however, and Phillip was eventually pushed out of the medals altogether by Shane Perkins (Australia) in their bronze medal ride-off.

    "It's a great stepping stone for me. It shows that the hard work is paying off and I'm getting closer to those guys. It's not a blow out and I'm really happy with that and with fourth place at the Olympics. I'm really happy with it. I didn't get the bronze, and I really wanted that medal, but everything in its time so I'm just sitting back."

    Trinidad and Tobago is not among the elite cycling nations and Phillip trains alongside the US camp throughout the year, but with an increased amount of coverage from back home, Phillip is well aware of the effect his Olympics have had.

    "You've got Australia, France, Great Britain. These are the biggest cycling nations but just to see that little red flag there... I broke down this morning. It was great.

    "Trinidad is now getting back into the...

  • Hammer leads Olympic omnium after pursuit

    Sarah Hammer (United States of America)
    Article published:
    August 07, 2012, 12:35 BST
    Laura Weislo

    American ahead of Trott with two events to go

    Team USA's Sarah Hammer took a commanding victory in the women's omnium individual pursuit at the 2012 Olympic Games in London to push one point clear ahead of the home favourite Laura Trott in the overall standings.

    Hammer, who holds the world record in the pursuit, beat Trott by nearly a full second in the race, setting a new track record of 3:29.554 in the process.

    Although Hammer finished only fifth behind winner Trott in the opening race, the 250m flying lap, she rode an attentive points race. Hammer was in one of three breakaways that lapped the field, while Trott missed those moves. That put the American at the head of the standings, tied on points with Canadian Tara Whitten and with Trott in third.

    In the elimination race, the final sprint came down to an all-out dash to the line between Trott and Hammer, which went the way of the Briton. Hammer reversed her fortunes in the pursuit on Tuesday morning.

    "I'll take it one race at a time," Hammer said after the first day of racing. "Today, everything worked out well. I'm very happy with the way I executed being focused on each and every start. The way the omnium works is you only can think of what the next race is."

    There are just two races left to go in the omnium on Tuesday evening, beginning with the scratch race which promises to be a hard-fought battle between the top medal contenders. Hammer leads with 13 points, Trott has 14, while Whitten and Annette Edmondson (Australia) are tied on points for third spot in 21 points. The next riders are well behind: Jolien d'Hoore of Belgium has 28 and Kirsten Wild (Netherlands) lies sixth with 31.

  • UCI to request additional medals for 2016 Olympic Games

    UCI chief Pat McQuaid is facing a challenge to his organisation's hegemony
    Article published:
    August 07, 2012, 19:39 BST
    Daniel Benson

    Individual pursuit to return in Rio de Janeiro?

    Will cycling be allocated additional track medals for the 2016 Olympic Games? Well, if the UCI has its way it will, with the governing body set to petition the IOC for another medal ahead of the Rio de Janeiro Games.

    Cycling currently has an allocation of 10 track gold medals, with five for men and five for women. They are then split, with three sectioned off for sprint events and two for endurance. However, the UCI would like to see parity, with either the points race or the individual pursuit brought into the fold as an individual race for both men and women.

    Cyclingnews understands that the Madison, an Olympic event in 2008, is unlikely to be put forward. However, the UCI's thirst for medals could also see the omnium 'tweaked' with the pursuit or points race dropping from the current six-event Omnium programme.

    "We'll evaluate how the programme has worked here," Pat McQuaid, president of the UCI told Cyclingnews.

    "Obviously we'd like to have more medals and more events, even if we can use the same quota of athletes; the IOC also evaluates the international audience for the cycling events. We'll put a proposal to the IOC for more medals."

    "The four events that are there will stay there. The fifth event, the omnium, well that we'll evaluate how it's working and maybe tweak it to improve it, but in principle from what I understand from the technical team, it's a good event and it's worked very well.”

    McQuaid and the UCI want to appeal to the professional road cycling ranks, whose riders have only two events to consider under the current format. The return of the individual pursuit would likely be the most popular decision amongst athletes and under the quota system, they would be allowed to target two endurance events.

    "At moment we have three sprint events and two endurance events. I would like three sprint events and three...

  • Keirin gold makes Hoy Great Britain's most successful Olympian

    Chris Hoy (Great Britain) wins the men's Olympic keirin
    Article published:
    August 07, 2012, 21:23 BST
    Daniel Benson

    Scot earns sixth gold medal to close Olympic career

    Sir Chris Hoy (Great Britain) rode into the history books at the London velodrome on Tuesday night as he picked up his 6th Olympic gold medal. The 36-year-old cruised through his heats in the keirin before clinching an epic final race. The win makes Hoy his nation's most successful Olympian of all time, and although it brings down the curtain on his glittering Olympic career, the Scot did not rule out one final major championship with the Commonwealth Games taking place in Glasgow in two year's time.

    Hoy came into the keirin on the back of gold in the team sprint and in the final event on the track in these Olympic Games he hit the front early. It looked as though the home crowd would be left disappointed when Germany's Maximilian Levy came around the Scot mid-way through the final lap but with Hoy retaining the inside line and finding a final surge of speed, gold was rescued and Great Britain's domination in the track cemented. Levy, the only competitor to challenge Hoy in the final, took silver with Teun Mulder (The Netherlands) and Simon van Velthooven (New Zealand) sharing the bronze after crossing the line together.

    "I couldn't have asked for more than that," Hoy said after clearly going through an emotional medal ceremony.

    "I think you might have seen the emotion on my face when I got on the podium. It's just so much and you're containing your emotions for so long, you're focussing on performance and not the outcome. But to do this in front of a home crowd and people talk about the burden of expectations but it couldn't be further from the truth, for it's like a big hand pushing you a long the track. You feel this energy although you're trying to block out individual voices and that helped me in the last bend and...

  • Pendleton concludes career with silver medal in Olympic sprint

    Victoria Pendleton (Great Britain) waves to the crowd
    Article published:
    August 07, 2012, 22:33 BST
    Daniel Benson

    Briton denied fairytale ending by Aussie rival Meares

    There was to be no fairytale ending to Victoria Pendleton's cycling career as she was beaten by Anna Meares in the final of the women's sprint. Pendleton came into the event as defending Olympic champion and after winning the women's keirin looked odds on favourite to close out her career with a final gold in London. However, in a best of three final, the British rider found herself up against a hungrier, and possibly more determined rider in Meares.

    The Australian already had a disappointing team sprint and then after being beaten by Pendleton in the keirin it looked as though the British rider had the measure of her old foe. Neither rider had been troubled during their heats to set up a dramatic final to close out the women's track competition in this year's Games.

    In the first heat Meares used her aggressive style and tactic to good effect, forcing Pendleton into deviating from her race line as the pair approached the line. Although the British rider crossed the line first the race commissaires relegated her to give Meares a one to nil lead. Meares, with only a bronze in the team sprint thus far at the Games, could sense weakness in the British camp and there was no answer from Pendleton in the second heat with the Australian showing a clear pair of heels on the final straight.

    An emotional Pendleton ground to a halt and although she had missed out on gold she still leaves the Games with gold and silver to her name. But the relief to have finally brought the curtain down on her racing career was palpable.

    "I wasn't really aware I had come out of the sprinters lane. When you're going as hard as that, it's not something you can see easily. Of course you have to abide by the decision. It might look easy, but its' tough at those speeds to keep the bike in the lane. I...