Americans put down the Hammer in LA

Americans won three more medals on the final day of the Los Angeles Track World Cup as Sarah Hammer...

Americans won three more medals on the final day of the Los Angeles Track World Cup as Sarah Hammer (Temecula, Calif./Ouch Pro Cycling) and Becky Quinn (Carlsbad, Calif.) took gold and silver in the women's 10-kilometer scratch race and Jennie Reed (Kirkland, Wash.) sprinted to a bronze in the women's keirin.

The victory was Hammer's third of the weekend after winning the points race on Friday and the individual pursuit on Saturday, giving her a clean sweep of the women's endurance events. Americans concluded the event with five medals - three gold, one silver and one bronze.

In a carbon copy of last year's race in which Hammer and Quinn swept the top two spots, Hammer again took control in the race's closing laps as she led out the sprint with Quinn on her wheel. After riding conservatively for the majority of the 40-lap contest, Hammer moved to the front of the 24-rider field with three laps remaining. One lap later, Quinn managed to position herself on Hammer's wheel and stayed there until the finish.

"My game plan was to just ride the race and see what happens, then if Sarah came to the front it was my job to fight for her wheel," explained Quinn of her tactics. "The point of the race was obviously to win, and she went to the front with three to go and I had about a lap and a half to get on her wheel, and if I want the wheel, I'm going to get it one way or the other."

Given last year's success, the win was even more impressive since Hammer and Quinn were both marked women and their tactics were exposed.

"People most likely knew what was going to happen, said Quinn. "I think we were a little incognito last year, but people know how strong Sarah is and that she likes to lead it out and that it was going to be a fight for her wheel."

Said Hammer of her teammate, "The best thing about Becky is you don't mess with her when she's fighting for a wheel. When it's crunch time, Becky can get anything she wants. We had no plan going into it, but it's kind of that unspoken thing where she knows what I'm going to do and I know what she's going to do, and so we're a pretty dangerous duo, I think."

Following the scratch race, Reed gave the U.S. its fifth and final medal of the three-day competition when she sprinted to a third-place finish in the keirin final.

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