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Olympic Games 2012: Track Day Six


Welcome to Cyclingnews' live coverage of the last night of track racing at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. There are three sets of medals on tap for tonight in the women's omnium, men's keirin and women's sprint.

16:00 Women's Sprint - Semifinal
16:07 Women's Omnium - 10km Scratch Race
16:34 Men's Keirin - Second Round
16:44 Women's Sprint - Decider
16:53 Women's Omnium - 500m Time Trial
17:26 Women's Sprint - Bronze Final 1
17:29 Women's Sprint - Gold Final 1
Women's Omnium - Victory Ceremony
17:48 Women's Sprint - Bronze Final 2
17:51 Women's Sprint - Gold Final 2
17:57 Men's Keirin - Finals 7-12
18:02 Men's Keirin - Finals 1-6
Men's Keirin - Victory Ceremony
18:23 Women's Sprint - Decider
18:27 Women's Sprint - Decider
Women's Sprint - Victory Ceremony

The British fans are packing the "pringle" hoping to see Sir Chris Hoy break the record for most medals won by a British Olympian. Hoy is looking for another gold medal in the keirin. They're also hoping Victoria Pendleton will win the women's sprint, and Laura Trott in the women's omnium.

First off are the women's sprint semifinalists. We've got Pendleton and German Kristina Vogel in heat 1, and Anna Meares (Aus) and Guo Shuang (Chn) in heat 2.

The noise is deafening as Pendleton is pushed away to lead this first heat. She's picking up the pace ahead of Vogel, beating the German at her own game.

Vogel goes up high to get a run, but Pendleton steals the sprinter's lane and powers away to a victory by two bike lengths.

OK, we just hit least 120 decibels as Vicky came up for semi against Vogel

@willfoth Tue, 7th Aug 2012 16:01:27

Meares and Guo matched up in the semifinal of the Beijing Olympic Games - it was a close match then. Meares is taking no chances here, playing a tactical game from behind.

Meares dives first down the banking into turn four before the bell. She gets a big lead on the back stretch.

Guo gives her a run for her money, but Meares has more speed this year and gets the first race.

Meares is happy with that ride - there was a bit of a clash as Guo tried to follow Meares down the banking. The Chinese rider pushed Meares onto the blue band, but it's no consequence. That's what match sprinting is all about.

It's now time for the women's omnium scratch race and we can expect this to be a super aggressive race. Sarah Hammer (USA) and Laura Trott (GBR) are separated by one point, with Tara Whitten (CAN) and Australian Annette Edmondson tied at 21 points for third, eight points behind Hammer.

Trott, Whitten and Edmondson push off to the front even before the gun, but Hammer is lying back.

Trott goes on the attack - but no, it was just an acceleration to get to the front. Now Wild goes (NED) for real

Her neighbor D'Hoore (BEL) is chasing.

Wild has half a lap, and there's a move from Sharakova and Edmondson. Trott reacts.

Now Whitten is forced to chase as Trott, Edmondson, Sharakova and wild form a dangerous move. She is chasing with Romanyuta.

The field has split in two and Hammer is on the losing end of that. She has to react, and goes along with the rider from China to close the gap.

A new attack from the Korean and Polish riders. They go clear as d'Hoore sparks the chase.

Wojtyra and Lee are about to be joined by Mejias of Cuba, but Whitten nails back them all.

Whitten goes straight past them and picks up the pace, pulling away Edmondson, D'Hoore, Kiesanowski and Calle. But they don't cooperate and Hammer counters - she's clear with Huang.

Whitten and Edmondson react, they go up to the pair and Trott must go. She attacks with Romanyuta to make it six, but the peloton is now on them.

20 laps to go and the women take a breather.

Sharakova doesn't like the slowing and she attacks. d'Hoore and Calle go along for the ride.

No panic as these three don't quite threaten the top two, but d'Hoore with 28 does touch at Whitten and Edmondson's spot. Whitten takes a pull, then Wild.

Whitten and Hammer react to a move by the Russian and Chinese riders to bring it all back together.

Trott, Hammer shadow each other and now Wojtyra goes.

13 laps to go, and they are still all together. That attack did not work. Whitten goes - she pulls away Trott, Huang and Romanyuta but Hammer nails it back.

10 to go, all together and Hammer puts in a dig. d'Hoore can't hold the wheel but Edmondson brings it back.

Sharakova puts one in on the inside, but only goes to the front to up the slowing pace. Olaberria goes with 7 laps to go, she's joined by Gonzalez and Calle.

Mejias and Huang go across, but they don't bridge, they just bring it all back.

There's a near crash in the field as they see 3 laps to go.

Trott is at the front, Hammer, Edmondson and d'Hoore and Wild all up there. Hammer goes.

Hammer is hammering! Leading Edmondson with one to go.

Trott takes the outside, Edmondson is in between her and Hammer. It's a mad dash to the line and Edmondson gets it with Hammer second! Trott is swamped at the line and will lose a few points.

It looked to us that Wild took fourth away from Trott, but she must have done a wicked bike throw to get third behind Edmondson and Hammer.

If that is the case, Hammer is leading with 15, Trott with 17, and Edmondson moves ahead of Whitten with 22. The Canadian is on 27 with d'Hoore in with 33.

Phew! As promised, that was a hotly contested race. Hammer is not a pure sprinter, but very few people can hold her wheel when she decides to go flat out for two laps. Edmondson did well to slip into that bronze medal position.

Problem is for Hammer, Trott is a very good 500m time trialist. In the worlds she won, with Hammer in fourth.

Pendleton and Vogel just completed their second race of the semifinal: Vogel got the front and tried to run it out long, but Pendleton was able to come past in the final straightaway and win.

It's Meares versus Guo, and the Chinese rider tries to go long before the bell, but Meares again has her number. She wins with relative ease to move onto the gold medal final against Pendleton.

The men's keirin round 2 heat had to be re-started due to a crash by theSpaniard Peralta. He's OK, and all riders are back on the line for the race.

Awang has the derny with Phillip in behind. Hoy is dead center, staying out of trouble.

The pace picks up, Hoy is hanging back a bit, keeping an eye on the Greek rider. Hoy kicks as the derny pulls off, draws level with Awang, then kicks again.

He leads into the bell - doing a full on kilo with Awang, Mulder and Phillip on his wheel across the line in that order.

The rider from Trinidad won't make it to the 1-6 final, but he congratulates Awang on making it.

Mulder keeps the Dutch hopes for a medal alive with a savvy ride in that round.

Heat two of the men's keirin is on the start line: the Kiwi Van Velthooven on the outside, Perkins on the inside. Bourgain, Levy, Watanabe and Canelon fill in the middle.

Perkins, the 2011 world champion, is on the derny with Levy on his wheel. Bourgain is lurking near the back. Still getting up to speed.

Perkins accelerates as the motor puills off, and Bourgain goes around the outside and leads into the bell with Levy on his wheel.

Perkins has to fight to hold off the Kiwi and in doing so, Bougain was pushed back into fourth place. Levy, Ven Velthooven and Perkins move on. Bourgain, who was added to the French team in the road race as a medal hopeful here, will go to the 7th-12th final.

Bourgain obv used to racing the road distances you see ;-)

@Cougie Tue, 7th Aug 2012 16:51:36

Yeahhhhhhh rhino!!! Final. Boom! Men's kieran! @Simon_Rhino everyone on zero now!

@HaydenRoulston Tue, 7th Aug 2012 16:51:40

Next up will be the final event of the women's omnium, and it will be a real battle for Hammer, who must finish no lower than third. In the event of a tie on points, the cumulative time in the timed events will be the tie breaker. She has the advantage there thanks to her pursuit, for the moment.

Option 3: If Trott wins and Hammer finishes 3rd further than .681 back on Trott, Trott wins gold. The gap at the worlds. 0.998

@dimspace Tue, 7th Aug 2012 16:53:43

Hsiao is in with a 36.482, Gonzalez with 37.578. That should be encouraging for Hammer, who was beaten by Hsiao at Worlds. That is not as quick as Hsiao went in Melbourne.

Clara Sanchez of France, who sits third from last after being dead last in the points race, scratch race and pursuit (she's a sprinter after all) posts a dangerously fast time - a track record in 35.451. That's nearly 0.2s quicker than Trott's time in February at the World Cup here.

Huang and Olaberria are in over 36 seconds. Sanchez is so far the only one to break that mark.

Mejias and Calle Williams are on track, and the Cuban goes under 36 seconds - 35.912 to be exact. Second fastest behind Sanchez.

For reference, Trott's winning times at worlds - 35.173, and the London World Cup 35.642. Judging from her flying lap it's safe to say she'll be quicker.

Kiesanowski and Wojtyra are off.

The Kiwi is in with 36.360, the Polish rider 36.790.

Looking at Hammer's results - at worlds she was a second slower than Trott in the 500, while she came within 0.7s in the London World Cup. It is something she most assuredly has been focusing on in the interim.

Kobe Bryant is in the velodrome.... Awesome... #london2012

@Jimmy_mach10 Tue, 7th Aug 2012 17:07:03

Romanyuta and Sharakova are on track. The rider from Belarus Sharakova is quicker, 36.748, but not a threat. The Russian is outside 37 seconds.

Hammer has some extra incentive: USA Cycling has a bonus program: $100,000 for any single gold medal, $75,000 for silver and $50,000 for bronze

But now it's d'Hoore and Wild on the track.

Not a great ride from Wild, she's outside 37 seconds, while d'Hoore is in with 36.585.

Who has beaten Hammer this year? Sharakova, Hsiao, Edmondson and Whitten, and of course Trott.

Up now it's Whitten and Edmondson. Their times will be extremely important for this overall classification. Not only will they battle for bronze, but it will matter for Hammer and Trott how they finish.

New fastest time for Edmondson! 35.140 - that's fast. 36.509 for Whitten, and she is eighth fastest with two to go.

Time for Trott and Hammer. I would imagine there are some butterflies in their stomachs.

Trott has the faster start.

35.900 for Hammer, but a 35.110 for Trott!

Trott wins - Hammer in silver by one point.

Edmondson holds on for the bronze medal with Whitten in fourth.

The participation France's Clara Sanchez was the deciding factor in this omnium. It's a very odd inclusion as well. As far as we can tell she's never raced a world class omnium in her life.

Although Hammer's time was still not good enough to get over Trott in case of a tie on points, so that is a moot point.

It was a well deserved gold for Trott. Despite her struggles in the points race, she pulled off three wins -  flying lap, elimination and 500.

In all, it was an exciting debut for the omnium at the Olympics, with tight races in both men's and women's events. The British crowd are over the moon.

Guo and Vogel face off for their first race in the bronze medal final of women's sprint. Vogel hit the front for the bell lap, trying to go long as is her strength, but Guo had the better speed in the finish and got the win.

Meares is getting a pep talk before being pushed up onto the track. Nervous?

Pendleton is in the lead and takes off at a brisk walking pace. On the blue band, watching.

They head up the track and then back down, Meares staying back.

Pendleton picks up the pace at the front, Meares matches.

Pendleton out of the saddle to the bell, she gets the lead on Meares.

Meares closing into turn four - a clash of elbows between the two in the straight. It's a photo finish.


Pendleton gets the photo finish, but the officials are reviewing the tap. Did Vicky come out of the lane?

That was literally a win by millimeters.

The tape plays and it is very clear Pendleton came out of the sprinter's lane after turn four. This will not make the crowd happy.

The face on the official says it all. Do you think he is sweating under his blue blazer?

David Brailsford comes onto the judges stand.

Pendleton was relegated!!!

Meares gets the win. There is shock on the faces of the British fans. They cannot fathom it.

To be fair, Pendleton came out of the lane by about 10cm. It wasn't a close decision.

It's a bit of interesting turnabout from a rider who has in the past accused Meares of playing fast and loose with the rules.

Today it's track suits on the podium. The other day it was skinsuits. The officials specified the latter earlier in the week, but then changed their minds.

Edmondson, Hammer and Trott are awarded their medals.

Over the line is over the line.

@lioneljbirnie Tue, 7th Aug 2012 17:38:44

Next up is the second match between Guo and Vogel. The Chinese rider is up by one, but must take the front this time.

Vogel goes to the front ahead of the bell lap. She's trying to get the jump again, but Guo is able to come around the long way and get past to take the bronze medal.

Pendleton leads Meares heading into bell lap and winds up her sprint, but Meares comes around on the back stretch and powers to victory. Olympic gold for Meares! Pendleton earns the silver.

Pendleton earns Australia's first cycling gold of the Games and gets hugs along the rail from her compatriots, while Pendleton is devastated on the track infield.

Next up is the men's keirin final for 7th-12th place. In the heat are Juan Peralta Gascon (Spain), Mickael Bourgain (France), Christos Volikakis (Greece), Kazunari Watanabe (Japan), Njisane Nicholas Phillip (Trinidad and Tobago), Hersony Canelon (Venezuela)

Canelon is riding on the derny's wheel with five laps to go...

Phillip on Canelon's wheel.

Phillip leads into bell lap

Phillip is too fast and holds off the field for the race win and 7th overall place in the men's keirin. He's followed by Bourgain and Volikakis.

Next up is the men's keirin final with Shane Perkins (Australia), Chris Hoy (Great Britain), Maximilian Levy (Germany), Azizulhasni Awang (Malaysia), Teun Mulder (Netherlands), Simon van Velthooven (New Zealand)

The riders are on the start line as introductions are made.

Mark Cavendish is in the commentary box, looking on for the final track cycling event of the Olympics.

And they're off, with Levy taking the slot on the derny's wheel. Next is Perkins then Hoy.

The derny is slowly winding up, five laps to go with the order still the same: Levy, Perkins, Hoy

Awang moves up and takes the lead with 3 to go

Hoy takes over with Awang on his wheel.

Levy momentarily comes over Hoy on the back stretch on the final lap, but Hoy fights back to win gold! Silver to Levy.

For the moment it looks like a dead heat for bronze between van Velthooven and Mulder. We'll see if further review of the photo finish camera can find any separation.

Hoy circled the velodrome on a victory lap and is then congratulated by Team GB staff on the infield.

The crowd can't get enough and Hoy is back on the track for a curtain call.

It's confirmed that New Zealand's van Velthooven and Dutchman Mulder have tied for third and will both receive bronze medals.

That concludes our live coverage of the 2012 Olympic Games track competition. Thank you for tuning in!

Live coverage of the cycling events at the Olympic Games resumes on Saturday with the women's mountain bike race. The women face off for gold in the cross country event at 12:30pm local time.

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