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Olympic Games 2012: Track Day Five


Welcome to Cyclingnews' live coverage of day five of track cycling at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. The schedule for tonight's competition is as follows:
16:00 Men's Sprint - Semifinal
16:08 Women's Omnium - Flying Lap 250m Time Trial
16:43 Women's Sprint - Quarterfinals
17:06 Women's Omnium - 20km Points Race
17:43 Men's Sprint - Finals
18:18 Women's Omnium - Elimination Race
18:41 Women's Sprint - Race for 5th-8th Places

Tonight's programme begins with the most popular match up of the night: the men's sprint semifinal between home hero and team sprint gold medalist Jason Kenny (Great Britain) and the US resident representing the tiny island of Trinidad & Tobago, Njisane Phillip.

The crowds are still filing in as Kenny gets strapped in for his semifinal match, but still there is a loud cheer for the British sprinter.

Kenny gets the front, with Phillip going up and down the track ... cat and mouse

Two to go and Kenny accelerates at the front. Phillip goes up high to get a run

Kenny looks like Usain bolt, dashing away with half a lap to go, Phillip closes in, but can't get up to his wheel

Another blazing fast win for Kenny - 10.159. Phillip has two more chances to move onto the final but will need a different tactic. He's won his previous rounds by being faster in the long sprint, but Kenny is the quickest man on the track this week.

Gregory Bauge (France) is now up with Shane Perkins (Australia). At his side, Bauge has sprint legend Florian Rousseau.

Perkins leads this round. They roll off the line in near slow motion. Bauge lurking 5m behind...

Sprinters can no longer do the scintillating track stands which used to bring a huge level of suspense to the match sprint.

Perkins speeds up into the bell, but Bauge is on his wheel.

Perkins out of the saddle, shoulder to shoulder with Bauge in the final turn, but the Frenchman has more kick. He wins in 10.358.

To give the sprinters a break, we will move onto the women's omnium flying lap. First off is the oldest woman on the track - 43 year old Maria Luisa Calle Williams of Colombia.

Calle won the bronze medal in the points race in Athens, but had it stripped away when she tested positive for a substance which was later determined to have come from the metabolism of headache medicine she took. Her bronze, which had been given to American Erin Mirabella, was returned to her.

Calle has trouble staying in the sprinter's lane and comes through in a 15.559. Surely this will be beaten by Korea's Lee Minhye, who is next. Lee is the 2011 Asian Champion in the omnium.

Lee comes through in 14.793. Next up, Angie Gonzalez of Venezuela.

Gonzales, the Pan Am Games omnium winner in 2011 is in with 15.115. Second fastest. Next up is Hsiao Mei Yu.

Hsiao is an amazing story, coming from Taipei, her father died when she was young and then her mother left them. She now supports her younger brother through cycling.

.... or at least that is the story on her official Olympic biography.

Hsiao is quickest so far, 14.6562.

Cuba's Marlies Mejias is next, she is only 19, and a two time Pan Am champion in the omnium. Her time is 14.554 - new fastest time.

A familiar face is on the track next: Frenchwoman Clara Sanchez, who already raced the keirin this week. She took fourth in that event. We should see her clock the best time as she is a sprint specialist.

Yes indeed, Sanchez knocks half a second off the previous best time, setting an Olympic velodrome record in the 250m TT in 14.058.

Tatsiana Sharakova of Belarus is next up, she was the points race world champion in 2011, but the flying lap is not her best event. She is in with 14.701

Jolien D'Hoore of Belgium is on track now. The former junior world champion in the road race, 22 years old, puts in a good time to take third best - 14.594.

New Zealand's Jo Kiesanowski is the next rider to go. She rides on the road with the USA-based TIBCO team. Her best events are the mass-start races, but she puts in a decent 250 - 14.924.

Russian Evgeniya Romanyuta, 24, is the rider on the track now. She won two world cups in the omnium this year - in Beijing and Astana. Her time is 14.909.

Huang Li of China is getting up to speed now. She is the Asian Champion in the omnium and has had several high finishes at the World Cup level. Her lap is quick - 14.571.

Dutchwoman Kirsten Wild is the next rider, her double disc wheels decalled in a dizzying array. Wild beat out Marianne Vos for the Dutch team's omnium spot.

A very good road sprinter, Wild is in 14.335, second fastest time so far.

On deck: Leire Olaberria, the only Olympic medalist in this year's omnium.

Olaberria, 35 was the bronze medalist in the points race in Beijing behind Vos. She's in with 14.463 - third fastest so far.

Poland's Malgorzata Wojtyra is away. She's twice been third in the omnium at the world cup level. Her time, 14.754 is ninth fastest so far.

Annette Edmondson (Australia) is up now, and after her only three more riders to go. She used to be a sprinter as a junior and converted to the endurance events. Her time reflects that - she's in 14.261, second fastest.

Great Britain's Laura Trott, the omnium world champion, is up for her time trial, and the crowd is urging her on.

They crowd sees she is fastest at they push her all the way to the line - 15.057 - fastest by just one one-thousandth of a second! She beat the sprinter to take the track record.

Sorry, 14.057.

Two-time omnium world champion Tara Whitten (Canada) has to try and top that. Her parents are in the crowd wearing t-shrits with her name on it. But the Canadian can only manage sixth best - 14.516.

Last to go is USA's Sarah Hammer. She won the test event in February, and already has a silver medal in the team pursuit. She won't get over Trott here - but her time is good. 14.369 - good for fifth fastest.

Standings are now:
1. Laura Trott (GBR)
2. Clara Sanchez (FRA)
3. Annette Edmondson (AUS)
4. Kirsten Wild (NED)
5. Sarah Hammer (USA)
6. Leire Olaberria (ESP)


Now it is time for the second race between Kenny and Phillip. It's do or die for the rider from Trinidad & Tobago. He has to win this one to have a chance.

Phillip takes the front, but Kenny is pushing, pushing pushing from behind.

Kenny goes high up, Phillip tries to pin him up there briefly but then dives to the bell.

Phillip tries to push Kenny up track but even that won't work. Kenny cruises to a win by a huge margin, but applause for Phillip.

Now for Bauge versus Perkins. This one should be a bit closer. This time Bauge gets the front.

Bauge goes up high on the banking, accelerating away from Perkins toward bell lap.

Perkins makes a run at him, but it's too late. The Aussie will face off against Phillip for bronze, Bauge moves on to go up against Kenny for gold.

We now turn to the fairer sprinters - the women's quarterfinal heats. First up is Queen Vic - Victoria Pendleton. She faces Olga Panarina (Belarus).

Pendleton goes to the front and dictates the pace, pushing Panarina to make her charge early ahead of the bell.

It is a dominating performance by Pendleton - Panarina could get in her slipstream but could go no further.

The quarterfinals are best of three, however. Panarina will have another chance. Next, Anna Meares faces Lyobov Shulika (Ukraine).

Shulika sits far behind Meares, hoping to catch the Aussie unaware.

Meares takes control, accelerating past with two to go, then at the bell Shulika tries to come over top. It's a nice fight from the Ukrainian, but Meares re-accelerates and wins with ease.

China's Guo Shuang is up against the wily Cuban Lisandra Guerra, who already has a warning from her 1/8 final heat. She needs to race this cleanly.

Guo, at the front, is keeping a close eye on Guerra, taking it slow with two to go.

Guerra tries going up high to get a jump and as she dives down, she gives Guo a bump. At the bell, the Cuban has the front and Guo makes a charge - but she's left it too late! Guerra gets it - but will it stand?

Kristina Vogel (Germany) now faces the Lithuanian Simona Krupeckaite.

Vogel leads picking a more brisk pace than in previous rounds. She's pushing it hard with two laps to go, heading hot into bell lap.

The LIthuanian has to go the long way around as Vogel gets the lane, and the German holds on to win.

Round one of the women's quarterfinal out of the way, we're now getting ready for the women's omnium points race.

The women's omnium points race is 80 laps long, with sprints every 10 laps. Riders get 20 points for gaining a lap, -20 for losing one from the field. In case of a tie, the rider's position at the finish breaks it.

Riders start either from the rail at the top or the blue band at the bottom, but after rolling for a lap, the gun fires to signify the start of the race.

After a rolling start, there is finally an acceleration from Kiesanowski ahead of sprint 1. But Whitten is going for it with Edmondson and Olaberria on her wheel.

Edmondson gets the lead with five over Whitten, Olaberrie and Kiesanowski. Back to gruppo compatto.

Hammer at the front with Wild, still going pedestrian pace with five to go before the next sprint. 

Huang at the front ahead of sprint 2, Olaberria is moving up.

The Cuban rider is going for it but Trott comes past to win sprint 2. An instant counter from Korea's Lee and Trott is on it. Edmondson comes up and they all sit up.

An attack from Poland and Belgium goes.

We have an attack from Belgium, Poland, Colombia, Venezuela and Russia, with Olaberria trying to get across. The field takes time to react, but finally Whitten goes to the front.

D'Hoore gets the sprint, and then the five riders lap the field! D'Hoore now leads over Romanyuta, Calle, Qojryra and Gonzalez. All with a bonus of 20 points.

We have a new break - and a dangerous one - Whitten, Hammer and Kiesanowski. They are working together very well. Trott has to try and chase this back herself  - she is getting no help.

Wojtyra has attacked the field to get a second lap, Belarus, Venezuela and Cuba are going across ahead of the bell.

Hammer, Whitten and Kiesanowski have taken their lap to move into the top 8 - all 8 riders who lapped up will get 20 point bonuses. But Sharakova is on her way to gain a lap. She will make it nine soon.

Wojtyra, Mejias and Gonzalez are still away, with Romanyuta trying to get on terms. The field is shattering as Trott pushes the pace.

Trott won't let the Polish rider get a second lap, she brings it back before the lap 50 sprint.

Hammer launches a big attack to get the sprint over Trott. She now is tied with D'Hoore and Sharakova for the lead. Trott is still down a lap. Best she can do is 10th.

Riders are all back together, but running out of time to get the lap back. Trott watches the front, and lets an attack by Wojtyra slip away.

Hammer gets into a chase group, but Trott nails that back - she won't want Hammer to get that much of an advantage in the second race.

Lap 60 sprint is coming and Wojtyra is still away. Whitten attacks from the field, with Wild and Edmondson on her wheel. Trott sticks onto it, but won't get points.

The Polish rider might win this race - she now leads Whitten 29 to 26, but Wojtyra was 13th in the 250m TT. Whitten was 7th. Hammer, who was 5th in the TT is now in 3rd overall. At this point she could take the lead after this race in the standings.

The Polish rider has been joined by Lee of Korea. Lee was not one of the riders to lap up, so she is working with Wojtyra.

Hammer is sitting back in the field ahead of the lap 70 sprint - Edmondson goes for it with Kiesanowski, but Trott comes through - she gets fourth behind the two breakaways and Edmondson.

The two ahead were caught after that sprint and there was a near crash with the Kiwi. They're all upright. Back together except for Clara Sanchez who's been dropped.

The finish order at the end will determine the tie break for the htree riders tied for third - Hammer, D'Hoore and Sharakova should they not get points. Hammer is riding attentively at the front.

The Kiwi moves up the outside with Wild on her wheel - four laps to go. Whitten and Hammer are accelerating.

Two to go and Hammer is swamped. Belarus leads with Trott on her wheel.

Trott got the final sprint over Sharakova and Whitten. Wojtyra wins the race, with Sharakova and Whitten second and third, D'Hoore and Hammer next with Romanyuta in sixth.

Hammer takes the lead, now tied with Whitten in 10 points, with Trott is third with 11, Edmondson is part of a group of four riders all with 14 points: D'Hoore, Sharakova and Wojtyra share that tally.

Time for the bronze medal final race one between Njisane Phillip and Shane Perkins.

Perkins takes the front but Phillip tries to take his long sprint half a lap before the bell. Perkins is fighting hard to get on his wheel, having to go long around in turn three and four.

The Aussie gets the race by a slim margin over Phillip - 10.489.

And now, the race of the night: Kenny versus Bauge. "Welcome to the Jungle" plays.

Bauge drew the front spot;.

Bauge will be looking for revenge after having his 2011 world title stripped for whereabouts violations and given to Kenny.

Bauge is keeping things slow on the roll out.

Coming into two to go, Bauge holds it up high at the rail, Kenny accelerates

Bauge tries to steal Kenny's thunder - he accelerates hard toward the bell lap. But even with a re-acceleration at the half lap point, Kenny is able to push to the line ahead by a wheel. Round 1; Kenny.

We now move onto ride two of the women's sprint quarterfinals. First up, Pendleton and Panarina.

Pendleton crushes Panarina, win by a mile for Queen Vic

It's now time for Meares and Shulika

Meares and Shulika come to a near stop with 1.5 laps to go, then finally Shulika jumps. She is no match for Meares, however.

Rematch between Guo and Guerra - this could be the one pair of the night that goes to three races.

Guerra accelerates from the front toward the bell lap, Guo this time does not wait. She comes past in turn three to hold onto a safe and easy win.

Guerra protests there was a touch of elbows ahead of turn four and Guo went into the sprinter's lane before she was clear of Guerra. We might see a relegation, which would put the bronze medalist from Beijing out of the semis.

As the judges review the tape, Vogel lines up with Krupeckaite for their second race.

Vogel likes it fast, and pushes the pace with almost two full laps to go.

The Lithuanian has to come around as Vogel gets the sprinter's lane, but she doesn't have enough gas. It's close, but the German moves onto the semifinal.

Protest results: Guo is NOT relegated. There will be a third race to decide which rider moves onto the semifinal.

An interesting note: whereas most riders zip up their skinsuits from the front, Kenny's zips up the back. He needs helpers to get his kit up.

But the zip on the back is more aerodynamic. Those marginal gains, they do seem to add up.

Now it's the bronze medal final between Phillip and Perkins.

Phillip isn't changing his tactic. He tries to keep the pace high, keep Perkins pinned up track.

But Perkins dives down into the bell and gets a huge lead. Easy for the Aussie. He gets the bronze.

The crowd gets pumped up for the Kenny vs. Bauge final - "Can't get no satisfaction" - perhaps a better choice than Van Halen's "Jump"... so far it's worked. It has played before every gold medal ride.

Kenny must lead this race: he doesn't want to do the walking pace that Bauge prefers. Half a lap in, they go up track with Bauge riding high.

Bauge is trying to fool Kenny into going early - flicking up and down.

Two to go - Kenny accelerates in the lower part of the track. Bauge stays high.

Bell and Kenny has the lead but Bauge is closing.

Bauge cannot do it! He comes up to the front hub but gets no further before the line! Kenny wins the men's sprint.

Let's see what Chris Hoy tweets now. Mystic Meg?

"I know I said I was off twitter til after 2mro but that was PHENOMENAL by Jason Kenny. So happy and proud of him, well deserved mate. "
-Chris Hoy, twitter

Now Kenny will have his face on a postage stamp - he joins the rest of Team GB's gold medalists.

Oh My God, Kenny killed them! #respectmyauthoritar

@broomwagonblog Mon, 6th Aug 2012 18:15:22

Here you go - the official tweet.

@chrishoy Mon, 6th Aug 2012 18:11:50

The crowd are leaving, showing a complete and utter lack of respect for the women racers. We still have the elimination race and the third heat between Guo and Guerra.

Guo and Guerra are into the bell with the Cuban hitting the front.

It's a clean race and Guo goes through to the semifinal with a well-executed win.

Last up we have the women's omnium elimination race.

Jason Kenny, as Richard Moore points out, is the first British double gold medalist of the Games.

Because riders must exit the track after they are eliminated, their bikes are fitted with flashing lights that come on when they are last place in the sprint.

Riders are seeded by their ranking, but that doesn't stop their helpers from giving them extra enthusiastic pushes to try and get an advantage. One lap in, the gun signals the start and two to go to the sprint.

The Venezuelan is first out.

Trott is riding the front, then Hammer moves up after being swamped. She prefers to use her energy at the front instead of sprinting. Hsiao and Huang are the next out.

Whitten, Hammer, Kiesanowski and Edmondson are staying at the front. Trott is further back. Sharakova is out.

That will drop the Belarus rider down the standings... Still the anglophones at the front. The Polish rider was lagging back but got past Calle to stay in . The Colombian is out.

Trott gets out of the box and heads to the front with Whitten. Hammer is swamped.

The Polish rider is tailgunning and it works again - she gets past Sanchez.

Hammer back on the front setting pace. Wojtyra gets past another - it's the Olaberria.

Whitten is picking pu the pace, and the Polish rider at the back again gets past a rider - this time it's Lee (Korea)

Edmondson pulls through to the front and Trott is dangerously far back. She moves up and it's finally Wojtyra who's out.

Hammer sees Trott at the back and heads up front, picking it up. Trott is last wheel  but slots through past the Russian and sprints straight through to the front.

The acceleration put Whitten on the back, and Hammer drifted back too. It's going to cost Whitten dearly - she's out with 8th place.

Hammer is now too far back, with only the Russian behind her.

But she smartly accelerates to the front and Kiesanowski is out in 7th place.

Six to go - the Russian is now our tailgunner as the Aussie takes the lead. She and Wild surge leaving the Belgian D'Hoore out in sixth.

Edmondson in the lead with Wild on her wheel. Hammer drops back then sprints to the line, leaving Wild out in fifth. Snappy riding from the American.

It's only AUS, GBR, USA and RUS left. Edmondson leads out the sprint and holds on - the Russian is out.

The top three women in the world in the omnium are the three riders left: Trott, Hammer and Edmondson. The Aussie leads out the sprint and Trott and Hammer come through - the Aussie is eliminated.

Hammer and Trott start sprinting out of turn one1 It's going to the British rider by a mile. She takes first, Hammer second. But Hammer will be tied on points with Trott.

That is it for the night. Thanks everyone for tuning in for our live coverage.

Whoops - now who's trying to leave early? We still have the women's 5th-8th place sprint final.

Krupeckaite wins that match over Guerra, with Shulika and Panarina rounding out the top 8.

Good night all - thanks for reading.

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