Great Britain's Mark Cavendish is in contention for a maiden Olympic Games medal as he currently sits third overall in the men's omnium after the first day of competition on the Rio Velodrome. The 30-year-old has three events to come on Monday, the time trial, flying lap and points race, before the final medal positions are decided.
Frenchman Thomas Boudat leads the omnium on 106 points with Italian Elia Viviani on 104 points, and Cavendish third on 96 points.
The six-event omnium started with the scratch race and was won by 2012 gold medallist Lasse Norman Hansen (Denmark) with Roger Kluge (Germany) second and Thomas Boudat (France) in third. Cavendish picked up 30 points for his sixth place for a strong start.
In the second event, the individual pursuit, Cavendish went head-to-head with Colombian Fernando Gaviria, the winner of the last two World omnium titles. The duo were chasing the the time of 4:17.453, set by Viviani, with Gaviria getting the better start of the duo. Cavendish brought him back by the half-way point then turned the screws to catch and pass his rival while posting a 4:16.878.
Norman Hansen then set a new Olympic record in the individual pursuit, bettering Bradley Wiggins' 2008 time, with a 4:14.982 but Cavendish did enough to hold on to second and earn 38 points.
The elimination race was the third and final omnium event for the night and a final chance for Cavendish to bolster his points haul. The early elimination of Hansen boded well for Cavendish only for him to ride off the track and into the centre and also be eliminated. The race would be won by Viviani with Boudat and Gaviria rounding out the podium with Cavendish credited with seventh place and 28 points.
Germany's Roger Kluge and Gaviria sit equal fourth on 90 points while Hansen is a further four points in arrears. It's likely the omnium gold will be decided between the top five riders although Glenn O'Shea (Australia) could spring a surprise as he sits on 76 points.
At the 2016 World Championships in London, Hansen won the 1km time trial ahead of Gaviria with Elia Viviani winning the Flying Lap while victory for Kluge in the Points race race saw a three way-tie at the top on 191 point with Gaviria awarded the rainbow jersey. Cavendish finished sixth on 161 points but is well placed to secure an Olympic medal for the first time in his career on the third attempt after missing out on the track in 2008 and on the road in 2012.
Cyclingnews will have full coverage of the final day of track racing at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.
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