Skip to main content
Live coverage

Olympic Games 2012: Track Day One


Welcome to Cyclingnews' live updates from the Olympic velodrome at the 2012 Olympic Games in London! Day one consists of the women's team sprint qualifying (16:00), men's team sprint qualifying (16:15), women's team sprint round 1 (16:30), then qualifying round of the men's team pursuit (16:42) followed by men's team sprint round 2 (17:46). Then, it's the women's(17:59)  and men's team sprint finals (18:15).

The track has been cleared of warm up, and the emcee is now warming up the crowd, directing them to be absolutely quiet for the countdown to the team sprint starts. We'll see if they all get it!

Road world champion Mark Cavendish is here, doing some commentary for broadcasters. The road world champion raced on the track in Beijing, but then the Madison was eliminated as an event, so he no longer focuses on the track.

First up in the women's team sprint are Korea vs. Venezuela, then Ukraine vs. Colombia. France v. Netherlands are the third heat.

Venezuela gets it 34.320 over 34.636 for Korea.

I'm sorry, that last round was Venezuela versus Korea, and Venezuela won.

Ukraine wins this heat in 33.708 - a very fast time and new olympic record! Colombia 34.87 - had some issues with lead rider dropping her finisher.

Now Netherlands vs. France: Hijgenaar and Kanis on front, Clair and Cueff on the back.

The first round of the qualifications is important, because the 8th place finisher goes up against the top seed, while 2nd vs. 7th, 3rd vs 6th and 4th vs 5th.

The track and the women are fast tonight! Netherlands sets another OR in 33.253, now top seed. 33.638 for France.

Pendleton and Varnish face McCulloch and Meares in the next heat - the two giants of team sprinting. The atmosphere is electric!

Wow! New world record! GBR came from behind to overhaul Oz who led until the last half lap - 32.526 over Australia's 32.825.

Now it is China's Gong and Guo vs. Germany's Vogel/Welte.

Another new world record from China! 32.447, beating Germany, 32.630!

Your qualifiers for the next round of the women's team sprint are as follows:

Men's team sprint heats are now starting. Poland had a mishap when racing Venezuela and both stopped racing. There should be a restart at the end of the block.

Another mishap in heat 2 of the men's team sprint - China vs. Japan. Not sure if riders are pulling the gate or if it is malfunctioning.

This time the gun fired and riders stopped racing, so the China/Japan heat will go forward directly.

China gets an Olympic record - fast track to be sure. 43.751 for China, versus 44.324 for Japan.

Next up: NZL vs. Russia in heat 3. Australia/France in heat 4, Germany vs. Great Britain in heat 5.

Oh dear, New Zealand's starter gave it too much gas out of the gate and dropped the next two. Russia is much smoother. 43.681 - they get the lead for now, while New Zealand's mistakes cost them. 44.175

Poland against Venezuela re-start has been done. Neither team threatened the quickest time. Venezuela edged Poland, 44.654 to 44.712.

France won that match over Australia - leading the entire way to take a new olympic record in 43.097 to Australia's 43.377.

Or at least the scoreboard thinks it's an Olympic Record. Great Britain went 42.95 in Beijing, so there is some mistake.

That is not good for Great Britain - Philip Hindes has crashed in the first turn. He seems to be OK, however. They should get a restart under the rules.

Cyclingnews spoke with Jamie Staff, the third member of the gold medal winning British team in Beijing, and he said coming here to coach and watch rather than compete was a bit emotional. He had some minor tinges of regret, but said that all the aches and pains reminded him that he picked the right time to retire.

OK - British and Germans get a second chance now. Keep it upright Philip!

Philip's strategy to psych out the Germans seemed to have its intended effect! The British go 43.065 to defeat the Germans by more than half a second. 43.710 for the Germans.

Men's team sprint qualifying results: Poland and Venezuela are out.

Next up in the women's team sprint first round:

Australia's women get the win over the Netherlands, 32.806. Dutch team did 33.090. Both teams quicker in the second round.

The team sprint isn't necessarily based on time for the medal finals - you have to win in round 1, then the top four are seeded by time. So these women have to not only go fast, they have to win.

Germany gets the win over France, setting a 32.701 - France did 33.707.

What a consistent performance by Great Britain - nearly an identical time to their previous round. They win over UKR with 32.527, only one thousandth of a second slower than qualifying. Ukraine in with 33.620.

Now it's Venezuela who has the unenviable position of having to go up against the world record setting team from China in the last heat.

The Chinese pair, Guo and Gong went under their previous mark, setting 32.422 for the fastest time of the night and an (un-ratified) new world record. Venezuela, 34.415.

So it looks to be Great Britain and China going for gold, and Australia and Germany heading to the bronze medal round if we understand the rules and the timing correctly.

The men's team pursuit is next:

We have heard that the British pair were disqualified for an incorrect changeover in the women's team sprint. They are currently under discussion.

After the world championships, where the British men were DQ'd for exchanging outside zone, Cyclingnews clarified the rules with the UCI's technical delegate Gilles Peruzzi. He explained that the first rider's front tire has to be behind the second rider's front tire after the pursuit line - they cannot pull behind earlier than the first marker 15m before the pursuit line, and have to have pulled behind by that line.

Great Britain relegated for an early exchange - that is a big disappointment, and the crowd boos.

Apologies for the miscommunication earlier, the team pursuiters aren't pursuiting. They are going one at a time. Korea came in with 4:07.210. The Colombians are on the track now setting times about four seconds quicker.

It's a strange twist of rules, whereby to move onto the final you must win your heat, then the top four are seeded by time. At this moment, it appears that means Ukraine is in the bronze medal final against Australia rather than the Netherlands, who were the fifth fastest - and a full 0.7 seconds quicker than Ukraine. We will confirm once we get the official results.

Still early heats in the team pursuit qualifiers. It's a captivating event, one of pure precision. The Danish are looking quite smooth.

The Netherlands men's team pursuiters just came through in the third best time, 4:03.818.

German's pursuit team goes second fastest, 4:02.113. The time of the young Danish team is looking solid with four teams left to race. New Zealand is up next.

New best time by New Zealand: 3:57.607 - but what's that I hear? It's the roar of the crowd. Who could that be for? Great Britain of course. Clancy, Thomas, Burke and Kennaugh are picked for the qualifying.

They're not looking spectacular - but they are solid. Not on the world record pace, but are 2s ahead of the Kiwis at the half.

They may prove me wrong, the crowds are pushing them to a fine ride in this second half.

Holy cow, that was a fast final 2km. The British have smashed their world record, and Olympic record, going 3:52.499. The old world record set in Melbourne was 3:53.295

The British were obviously pacing themselves well in the first half - starting conservatively by only putting in less than a second per kilo on the Kiwis, then pulling out almost two per kilo in the second half.

Official start list has confirmed Ukraine will face Australia for bronze in the women's team sprint.

Russia put in the fourth best time of the night. Australia currently pushing in for a 3:55.694.

Second best for Australia behind Great Britain. New Zealand third best ahead of Russai. Only Belgium and Korea will not move onto the second round tomorrow.

The British are clearly far, far above the rest. Australia look strong, and the Kiwis, Danes and Russians will have to fight it out to make the finals tomorrow.

Men's team sprint second round up next. Germany beat Russia in heat 1, 43.178 to 43.909.

Australia and China next, then France and New Zealand, followed by Great Britain against Japan.

New fastest time of the night for France - 42.991 - They easily beat New Zealand.

Another world record for Great Britain! Unbelievable - 42.747 - almost two tenths quicker than what Germany set in Cali in 2011.

The performance was so amazing it knocked out our internet.

Gold medal for China - 32.619. Silver for Germany - and then Bronze for Australia.

UPDATE: Stunning, China relegated to silver for exchange. Germany wins gold!

In the men's team sprint bronze medal final, Germany topped Australia by a 0.146 margin.

The results are official - gold for Great Britain. France in silver, with Germany in bronze.

Thank you for reading 5 articles in the past 30 days*

Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read any 5 articles for free in each 30-day period, this automatically resets

After your trial you will be billed £4.99 $7.99 €5.99 per month, cancel anytime. Or sign up for one year for just £49 $79 €59

Join now for unlimited access

Try your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Latest on Cyclingnews