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Second Edition Cycling News, Friday, August 3, 2012

Date published:
August 03, 2012, 1:00 BST
  • Hoy leads Great Britain to defend gold in men's team sprint

    Sir Chris Hoy won the fifth Olympic gold medal of his career with victory in the team sprint in London.
    Article published:
    August 03, 2012, 4:29 BST
    Cycling News

    World record time on way to podium

    Great Britain's men's sprint team beat its own world record and defend its Olympic Games' title at the London velodrome on Thursday, beating France into silver while Germany was forced to settle for bronze.

    Philip Hindes, Jason Kenny and Sir Chris Hoy set the fastest time in qualifying with 43.065 seconds. This came after the team was forced to restart after Hindes lost his front wheel and crashed on the first lap.

    However, it was in the team's heat against Japan in which the defending champions but down their most important marker, setting a time of 42.747 and breaking the world record. In the final against France, the British trio set a time of 42.600 to take gold, with Dave Brailsford even celebrating before Hoy had crossed the finish line.

    "We knew it was possible," said Hoy.

    "This didn't just come out of the blue, but we knew if we kept it together, we had to have the best possible race. It's easier said than done. We had an excellent training camp in Newport. We had the full support of the team, and we nailed it.

    Hoy's efforts signalled his fifth gold medal in a glittering career that now sees him tied with Sir Steve Redgrave as Britain's most successful Olympic gold medallist.

    "It's just great to win here in the UK, in front of this crowd, it's phenomenal. You cannot overstate what this means to us. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Dave Brailsford said to us after Bradley's Wiggins' time trial that this was your chance, that you're never going to get this again, to enjoy it. We enjoyed it and we gave it our all."

    After missing out on a medal in April's Worlds, where the team were disqualified, Jason Kenny added that the squad had a point to prove as it searched to defend its Beijing crown.

    "We really wanted to do this after our world...

  • Germans start without Nimke in Olympic team sprint

    Stefan Nimke (Germany)
    Article published:
    August 03, 2012, 6:37 BST
    Laura Weislo

    2004 gold medalist withdraws last minute due to injury

    The German men came into the 2012 Olympic Games team sprint with the aim of winning gold, but with their star rider Stefan Nimke suddenly ailing before the start, they waged a courageous comeback with replacement Robert Forstemann to claim the bronze medal.

    Max Levy explained to the press the last minute change and what it meant to the German trio, emphasizing the importance of Nimke to their lineup. "Here, Chris Hoy is the big hero, for us it's Stefan Nimke."

    Nimke is the team's most experienced rider. Only 34, he was part of the gold medal winning team in Athens with Jens Fiedler and Rene Wolff in 2004, and then four years later he helped to usher the next generation to the medal stand when he took bronze with Levy and Rene Enders.

    Since then, Nimke has been three-time world champion in the kilometre time trial, and twice team sprint world champion, although the second one came after the disqualification of Frenchman Gregory Bauge for anti-doping whereabouts violations.

    Levy said that Nimke decided the morning of the race that he was not going to be able to start because his back, which he had injured in a crash in training two weeks ago, was not allowing him full strength. "That was a real blow for us," Levy said, adding that Robert Forstemann, who had been set to compete in the individual sprint, was called up as the reserve.

    That shift meant that Levy had to move from second man to third in qualifying, while Forstemann took second with Enders leading off.

    "We just had to get top eight," he said of qualifying. "In so little time it is not possible to make a perfect race."

    "After [qualifying] we had one hour time to focus on our race, and to arrange for the situation. So we did....

  • Hindes admits to crashing deliberately, then backs away from comments

    Great Britain's team sprint squad show off their Olympic gold medals
    Article published:
    August 03, 2012, 9:12 BST
    Cycling News

    French team officials hope rules are revised

    The intricacies of the track cycling rule book may get a going-over following the Olympic Games but the actions of Great Britain team sprint member Philip Hindes were completely legal.

    Hindes had the task of leading out teammates Sir Chris Hoy and Jason Kenny when the German-born member of the team got off to a wobbly start in Great Britain's qualifying heat against Germany. Hindes then appeared to deliberately ditch his ride before the first bend with Hoy and Kenny reacting quickly to appeal for a re-start which was granted.

    "So I crashed, I did it on purpose just to get the restart, just to have the fastest ride. It was all planned really," Hindes said when interviewed following the incident.

    Following the re-start Great Britain went on to soundly beat the Germans, going 43.065 to the German's 43.710.

    The 19 year-old's admission follows a "very small mistake" at April's UCI Track World Championships where Hindes made an illegal change, causing the team to be relegated and miss out on their bronze medal match sprint. Following that experience, Hindes told media on Thursday that he had talked through various scenarios with his teammates about what to do if things went pear-shaped.

    By the time Hindes fronted the post-event media conference, and the team had collected their gold medal for their defeat of France in the final, he denied that the fall was deliberate.

    "No. I just went out the gate and just lost control, just fell down," he claimed. "My back wheel slipped and totally lost control and then I couldn't handle the bike anymore and just crashed."

    French technical director Isabelle Gautheron was disappointed that Hindes had taken advantage of the rules in such a manner when interviewed by...

  • Meares admits Pendleton will be "livid" after team sprint disqualification

    Meares and Pendleton battle it out in the semis.
    Article published:
    August 03, 2012, 10:15 BST
    Jane Aubrey

    Australian looks to back up keirin world title with Olympic gold medal

    Anna Meares (Australia) will begin her individual Olympic program on Friday in London, following a bronze medal performance in the team sprint with Kaarle McCulloch.

    The 28-year-old's next task will be backing up her dual keirin world championship wins when the heats get underway. She is competing in her third Olympic Games and it's a challenge Meares is looking forward to.

    "I think tonight is going to make tomorrow unbelievably intense," she said following her appearance in the team sprint on Thursday. Fierce rivals Great Britain were disqualified for an illegal change, robbing the team of a chance to stand on the podium.

    Meares and McCulloch had lined up against Victoria Pendleton and Jess Varnish in their heat only to lose by 0.3 of a second. Before the start gun, a huge roar from the home crowd drowned out any cheers for the Australians, with McCulloch later admitting that she had been forced to pretend the noise was being created for their benefit.

    "The worst thing you can do is add emotion to a bunch of sprinters as they can use it as motivation," Meares admitted. "Vicky [Pendleton] is going to be there looking for the win. I am going to be there looking for the win and also the Germans are running on a high [after winning gold in the team sprint]."

    Pendleton, like Meares, is contesting three events, and with one of her opportunities to add to her gold medal from the Beijing Olympic Games already gone before her planned retirement, there was no doubt for the Australian as to what effect it would have on the Briton's state of mind.

    "I don't think she is wounded - she will be absolutely livid," she stated. "That can be used as a motivation."


  • USA women set for historic Olympic first

    Sarah Hammer leads out the US team
    Article published:
    August 03, 2012, 12:27 BST
    Laura Weislo

    Women's team pursuit debuts at velodrome today

    There are four American women waiting to step into the limelight and  help make history when their team pursuit debuts in the Olympic  programme tonight: Sarah Hammer, Lauren Tamayo, Jennie Reed and Dotsie Bausch will take part in three rounds of racing over the next two days to fight for the medals.

    It will be an uphill battle for the team which set the world record in the discipline at the 2010 Panamerican Championships, shortly after its inclusion in the world calendar. Since then, the British team has emerged as favourites, with Canada, Australia and New Zealand also closing down the gaps. In order to hone their technique and training, the quartet spent the past two months working together at the velodrome in Palma, Mallorca, a luxury they had never previously enjoyed.

    "In the last two races, the London test event and the world championships, we were fifth in the team pursuit," Hammer said. "After those two races, we had a get together and tried to figure out how to take the next step. Obviously things have developed, and the racing is only going to get faster. Our goal is to get a medal, whatever color it may be. That would be an incredible achievement for our team. It's a  possibility - we have such talent on the team - we just needed to figure out how to get the best out of each of us.

    "We had great training sessions in Mallorca and also here in London. We're just looking forward to racing right now. It's the first time  we've spent a dedicated amount of time together that wasn't leading up to an event. It was nice, we were able to focus on training and not necessarily performance. I think we got a lot out...

  • Strict officials bring drama to women's Olympic team sprint

    Great Britain's Victoria Pendleton and Jess Varnish committed a takeover violation in their semi-final round and the resulting relegation ended their bid for a team sprint medal.
    Article published:
    August 03, 2012, 13:25 BST
    Laura Weislo

    Tears, frustration in debut of event in London

    The Olympic Games are always heavily laden with drama because of the intense and close competition, but they were made even more emotional at the London velodrome on Thursday when relegations in the women's team sprint denied the British team a chance at the medals, and then stripped the Chinese of the gold.

    The first incident occurred after the British appeared to move onto the gold medal round by defeating Ukraine with a time quicker than the previous two heats, won by Australia and Germany. But the gold medal match up between the Victoria Pendleton and Jessica Varnish and China's Gong Jinjie and Guo Shuang never materialized: the British were penalized for exchanging too early and relegated to eighth place.

    Going up against Germany for the gold, China appeared to have won handily. Guo and Gong had already celebrated their victory and Kristina Vogel and Miriam Welte had gone away to give silver medal interviews when the announcement came that the Chinese had also been relegated to silver.

    Speaking with the UCI's technical delegate Gilles Peruzzi before the competition began, Cyclingnews got a clear explanation of the rule which was enforced strictly at the world championships in Melbourne, leading to the relegation of men's teams from Great Britain, Germany, the USA and Greece, and the Lithuanian women.

    "The explanation we have given to all of the teams is this: when the lead rider crosses the pursuit line, the second rider must still be  behind," Peruzzi said. That line, designating the end of the lap, was fitted with video cameras to allow officials to review footage after the  race to determine if...

  • Thomas makes likely final Olympic track racing appearance

    Sky's Geraint Thomas
    Article published:
    August 03, 2012, 20:37 BST
    Daniel Benson

    British rider wins team pursuit gold before refocusing on the road

    Great Britain successfully defended its Olympic team pursuit title, shattering its own world record as it beat Australia in the gold medal ride on Friday. The foursome of Ed Clancy, Geraint Thomas, Steven Burke and Peter Kennaugh finished in a time of 3.51.659 to break the record established the previous day in training. For Thomas at least, it could signify his last appearance on the world track stage.

    "It's great. It's what we've trained for since November, and it's been so much hard work and expectation. To deal with all that and put together the rides we did, it's amazing. You don't really think about it until after the ride, the emotion and how you're going to feel but it's just crazy," Thomas said after picking up his second Olympic gold after being part of Britain's pursuit team in 2008.

    Thomas had pinpointed the track programme towards the tail end of last year, sacrificing a road schedule that could have included the Tour de France.

    "In November after the road season, we had Dave Brailsford and Shane Sutton stopped me from going to see a Rhianna concert because we had training on the track the next day. It's just been that intense since November and now for all that work to now pay off today, it's just fantastic," he said.

    I said from the start of this year that it was all about getting gold in my home Olympics and that's what I wanted to do. It's just fantastic to finally achieve that goal and after so long thinking about it and talking about it with the boys, it's amazing."

    The British team road to victory saw it qualify fastest, beating a world record set at the world championships earlier this year. That ride placed the squad in a heat against the Danish team and after advancing through it met the Australians...

  • Baranova is expelled from Olympic Games for doping

    Victoria Baranova (Russia) watches Britain's Victoria Pendleton in their sprint heat.
    Article published:
    August 03, 2012, 21:25 BST
    Cycling News

    Russian tests positive in pre-Olympic test

    Track racer Victoria Baranova was expelled from the Russian Olympic team for doping. She was scheduled to race Friday's women's keirin at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, but was sent home instead.

    The 22-year-old tested positive for a prohibited substance. She has admitted guilt and left the Olympic Games.

    UCI spokesperson Enrico Carpani confirmed to Cyclingnews that Baranova tested positive in a doping test done on July 24 in Minsk. The pre-Olympic test was one requested by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

    "We were informed by the IOC because they conducted the control in the framework of the programme focussed on the Olympic Games. She admitted the violation, and that's the reason why the hearing that was scheduled for Friday has been cancelled as it wasn't needed anymore. After she admitted to her doping the Russian committee sent her home on Thursday morning," Carpani told Cyclingnews.

    "Before the Olympics, the IOC and the UCI had two special programmes and the combination has worked very well. They did their tests, we did ours and it makes the life of cheater much harder. For us it's a very good result."

    Baranova finished third in the sprint at the European track championships. She previously won the European U23 sprint and keirin titles.