Lasse Norman Hansen (Denmark) made history to become the first ever athlete to win gold in the Omnium at the Olympic Games. Hansen secured his win with a personal best in the Kilo with a time of 1:02.314. However the Dane's most impressive ride was an event beforehand, in the 15 kilometre scratch race. Heading into the race, and sitting third in the overall standings, Hansen was a marked man. His race took a turn for the worse when he crashed mid-way through. Once back on his bike, the Dane, fuelled by pure adrenalin, attacked from the field to take a lap. It moved him into the overall lead with just the Kilo to come and effectively saved his race.
"It feels fantastic," he told Cyclingnews after the medal ceremony.
"It's a crazy feeling and can't be described in words."
"When I came to the Kilo I just had to go flat out. There was no way back and I was just killing myself to do the best Kilo I've eve done. I did it. That was the fastest ever time I've done by 0.8 seconds, and it was a new Danish record. All I looked at was the black line in front of me. I killed it and that's all that matters. The gold was on the horizon and I just did what I had to do," he told Cyclingnews.
However it was Hansen's crash, remount and lap that really stood out from the six events. Ed Clancy, who secured bronze for Great Britain, paid tribute to the Dane's ride and admitted it had been his fault for Hansen's crash.
"At first I thought... that's my chance gone," Hansen said.
"I thought I'm out and I can't do it anymore. But I got back on the bike and I actually didn't feel that bad. I got the lap alone. I had the power and the belief and it's just been a rollercoaster of emotions. In Denmark we race through the heart. We wanted it so much."
This was the Omnium's first appearance at the Games: the women start their two-day competition on Tuesday. And despite criticism over the format, the rules and the dissapearance of the individual pursit from the Olylmpic programme, Hansen, rather understandably stuck up the event's place.
"It's a really cool feeling, being an Olympic champion. Only the second one for Denmark. The other one (gold) was for two guys in rowing. It feels weird, but fantastic."
"It's a cool event. It's about being able to do all events. It's the most all-round rider who wins and the one who gets mental overview at the end. It's a hard one. Maybe the toughest. It's so long, with hard disciplines. I feel really good about."