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Hammer leads Olympic omnium after pursuit

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Sarah Hammer (United States of America)

Sarah Hammer (United States of America) (Image credit: Daniel Simms)
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Sarah Hammer (United States) opened her omnium with a fifth place finish in the flying 250m time trial

Sarah Hammer (United States) opened her omnium with a fifth place finish in the flying 250m time trial (Image credit: Daniel Simms)
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Sarah Hammer (USA) is a top favourite for the Omnium

Sarah Hammer (USA) is a top favourite for the Omnium (Image credit: Daniel Simms)

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.

Laura Weislo has been with Cyclingnews since 2006 after making a switch from a career in science. As Deputy Editor, she coordinates coverage for North American events and global news. A swimmer in her younger days, Laura made the change to cycling later in life, but was immediately swept up by a huge passion for the sport. Riding for fitness quickly gave way to the competitive urge, and a decade of racing later she can look back on a number of high profile races and say with confidence, "I started". While her racing days are over for the most part, she continues to dabble in cyclo-cross and competing against fellow pathletes on the greenways of Raleigh, North Carolina.