Result sparks response from Australian rival Freiberg
Glen O’Shea was sitting in the perfect position coming into the fifth round of the six-race omnium at the London Olympic Games last night. O’Shea moved into the number one position following his ride in the 4,000m individual pursuit and the reigning world champion was looking good to capture Australia's second gold medal - to date.
"I can imagine there would have been hype. Australia is pretty starved of gold medals," he told AAP.
It was the 15km scratch race however, that his Olympic dreams collapsed as he found himself heavily marked throughout the race. When a strong group attacked off the front of the scratch race field, O’Shea was caught in the chasing bunch - along with most of those sitting at the top of the overall standings.
"I put myself right in the bike race but in the first ten laps to turn around and you've got four or five blokes just lining you up, trying to attack you, I guess that's just the way things go. In the end I didn't have the legs and the best person won," he told Fairfax.
O’Shea finished the scratch race a lap down on nine riders and crossed the line in 14th position, pushing him down to sixth overall and with only the Kilo to go he was unlikely to improve enough to take home a medal.
"All I could do was go out and give 100 percent and that's what I did. I was happy with the way I finished off. I didn't lay down.
"Lasse was unbelievable. He fell off in the scratch race and got straight back up and then in about two laps he had taken a lap. So he deserves the win. It's a credit to him," he said.
Olympic selection has been a heavily discussed issue during these Games and the omnium is no different. Australia’s 2011 world champion Michael Freiberg, was devastated to be looked over for the single spot at the London Games and with O’Shea falling short of expectation, he voiced his opinion via Twitter.
"And dam right I'm annoyed about the result of a race that just finished 2000km away," Freiberg said on Twitter.
"I know I am world champion but the omnium can be a mixed bag and I knew I'd be in the hunt. I knew I had good legs. It showed, I came fifth - it's not a bad result. I'm proud of what I have achieved," O’Shea told the ABC.