Olympic Track Cycling: Day 5

King Kenny wins third Gold medal of his career at 24 after blitzing former World Champion Gregory Bauge whilst Trott and Pendleton in the box seat for more cycling Gold

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Bolton’s Jason Kenny has won the Men’s Sprint after winning the final against triple World Champion Gregory Bauge (France) in two straight rides. The British rider never lost a sprint throughout the competition and his dominance saw him go through each round untroubled by the World’s best.

His performance showed that after he was beaten in Melbourne by Bauge, just how well the British team are at getting everything right for the Olympic night and peaking for the competition that really matters to them above any other; the Olympics.

After two days of phaffing about, the Men’s Sprint finally reached its conclusion with Jason Kenny on course for the Gold medal final lining up in the semi finals in the first race of the day. There, Kenny had the task of seeing off the challenge of a rider who had impressed a lot of those in the know, Nicholas Phillip of Trinidad & Tobago.
Not as well known as the likes of Perkins, Awang, Bauge and co, Phillip had taken some good scalps on getting through to the semi final where in race one, Kenny made a great start. Leading Phillip around the bottom of the track, eyes fixed on his rival behind him as they went up and down the track with Phillip throwing in a few bluffs to try and get Kenny to make a mistake.

The Brit from Bolton though wasn’t haven’t any of that, and he was the first to open the throttle and turn the screws on Phillip, eyes still firmly fixed on his rival Phillip before deciding the time was right to go full gas. The eyes were then firmly on the finish and Phillip had no chance and did well to get to within two lengths of Kenny on the line. One nil to Kenny.

After Gregory Bauge of France had easily beaten Aussie Perkins, Kenny came up against Phillip for the second match. This time Phillip had to lead and Kenny stayed close to his rival’s back wheel, not giving him any room to spring a surprise.

As Kenny went high on the track, Phillip went up to crowd him, gaining speed as he did so before he dropped down the track ready to launch his sprint and then as Kenny came racing over the top, full gas, Phillip threw a hook that was sure to have got him into trouble had he won. He didn’t. Kenny was simply too quick, flying past Phillip unperturbed about bouncing off the Trinidad and Tobago rider and cruising his way to the line and nothing Phillip could do was going to change the result. Kenny was into the Gold and Silver medal final.

This best of three ride off for Gold was simple really. Kenny and Bauge lined up on the start line, and once the racing was in full flight, Bauge did everything he could to beat the Brit but in two rather straight forward rides, Kenny just had too much speed in his legs and nothing the rider who has won four World Sprint titles (was stripped of one which was given to Kenny) could do to stop the Bolton rider from winning.

As always, Kenny was taken to the line by his coach Iain Dyer who’s later victory celebration for Kenny was one of the most exuberant I have ever seen, and in heat 1, Kenny drew the outside position on the track. Bauge led them away and after a few laps of not a lot, Kenny went high on the track and as they turned on the gas to start the sprint, Kenny used the banking well to get up to full speed before blasting past Bauge and winning the first heat.

Heat 2 was not a lot different. Kenny had to lead away on this and he controlled Bauge very well indeed, alert and not allowing himself any silly errors before pressing hard on the pedals and sprinting away to win the title. A lap or two of celebrating followed after a quick pose for the crowd with a spectator’s Union Jack. The laid back sprinter even started what could have ended up in a water fight with the likeable soigneur for the British team, Luc de Wilde.

“It’s amazing” he told Jill Douglas afterwards. “I’ve never really thought about the medal until we were in the last ride and suddenly it dawned on me. I’ve had such a battle to get here with Chris (Hoy) and I knew with him on the side line and how he’d definitely not give up in my position and how he’d have killed him off, I thought I’d better not mess this ride up so I’m really pleased I delivered for the team!”

Asked if Hoy, who had predicted Kenny would win in London and also predicted Kenny’s qualifying time, was mystic meg, Kenny replied “I don’t know but I’ll have to ask him for next week’s lottery numbers I think!”

On his good form, Kenny explained “I was really pleased with the form. We were really close once again. It could have gone either way. At the Worlds over the past two years, he’s been the slightly faster rider and here I qualified a little bit quicker. I like racing against Bauge, he’s a fast fair rider.”

Later at the press conference, Kenny explained why the Brits were dominating… “We’ve always been kind of close at World Championships or World Cups. Over the last four years and when it comes to the Olympics, we just make sure we get every little detail right.”

“That’s what we did in Beijing (2008) and that’s what we’ve done here. It’s not like we’re winning by miles and miles but we’ve got just enough to keep our noses in front. It’s not one little thing, it’s just by doing everything, making sure that every box is ticked for the last six months leading up to it. Team morale goes a long way and the home advantage with the crowd definitely helps.”

“Once we’ve won that first one or two golds, it’s like everyone wants to get on that bandwagon and everyone’s got the legs to do it and the belief. It’s just an amazing feeling and it’s a great experience to be part of a team like that and I feel really lucky.”


Heat 1
Jason Kenny (Gbr) defeats Nicholas Phillip (Trinidad & Tobago)
Gregory Bauge (France) defeats Shane Perkins (Australia)

Heat 2
Jason Kenny (Gbr) defeats Nicholas Phillip (Trinidad & Tobago)
Gregory Bauge (France) defeats Shane Perkins (Australia)


Jason Kenny beat Gregory Bauge 2:0

Shane Perkins beat Nicholas Phillip 2:0

After three events on day 1 of the Women’s Omnium, Laura Trott (Great Britain) was leading on the same points as USA rider, Sarah Hammer after two superb victories.

Flying Lap – Round 1
Laura Trott won the first round, beating a very renowned sprinter in the process, Clara Sanchez. Aussie Annette Edmondson was third.

1 TROTT Laura Great Britain 14.057
2 SANCHEZ Clara France 14.058
3 EDMONDSON Annette Australia 14.261
4 WILD Kirsten Netherlands 14.335
5 HAMMER Sarah United States of America 14.369
7 WHITTEN Tara Canada 14.516
8 MEJIAS GARCIA Marlies Cuba 14.554
9 HUANG Li People’s Republic of China 14.571
10 D’HOORE Jolien Belgium 14.594
11 HSIAO Mei Yu Taipei (Chinese Taipei) 14.662
12 SHARAKOVA Tatsiana Belarus 14.701
13 WOJTYRA Malgorzata Poland 14.754
14 LEE Minhye Republic of Korea 14.793
15 ROMANYUTA Evgeniya Russian Federation 14.909
16 KIESANOWSKI Joanne New Zealand 14.924
17 GONZALEZ Angie Venezuela 15.115
18 CALLE WILLIAMS Colombia Maria Luisa 15.559

Of all the events, this is the one that seems to cause Trott the most problems. The Points race is such a specialist event and Trott started well, winning one of the early sprints but after that it was all uphill for the youngster. A break soon escaped and Trott was caught out whilst two of her key rivals, Sarah Hammer and Tara Whitten lapped the field with a group of other riders. Trott, like Clancy the day before, did what damage limitation she could, finishing the ‘best of the rest’, 10th with all the other riders above her, being lapped riders. In the end whilst not an ideal placing, it didn’t do a lot of damage to her position in the table and she was now third overall only a point off the leaders. Pheww….

1 WOJTYRA Malgorzata 34
2 SHARAKOVA Tatsiana 28
3 WHITTEN Tara 28
4 D’HOORE Jolien 25
5 HAMMER Sarah 25
6 ROMANYUTA Evgeniya 24
8 CALLE WILLIAMS Maria Luisa 22
9 GONZALEZ Angie 20
10 TROTT Laura 14
11 EDMONDSON Annette 10
12 MEJIAS GARCIA Marlies 4
14 LEE Minhye 3
15 HUANG Li 2
16 WILD Kirsten 2
17 HSIAO Mei Yu 2
18 SANCHEZ Clara 0

1 United States20 of America HAMMER Sarah
2 Canada WHITTEN Tara 10
3 Great Britain TROTT Laura 11

Devil take the Hind Most
There have been some amazing moments during the cycling at the Games and it is hard to pick out one that stands out but certainly the Devil take the Hindmost was one that is right up there and all because of a young lady from Cheshunt , Laura Trott and her amazing performance.

At times she was like Houdini; in a box seemingly unable to get out and then the petite Gold medallist from the Women’s Team Pursuit would find a hole to escape through and live to fight on. In this event, there’s a sprint every 30 seconds or so to make sure you’re not the last one across the line because every two laps, that last rider is eliminated. Hence the event is officially called the Elimination race.

Trott played with the devil early on, finding herself at the back several times and having to either jump through gaps, push riders out of the way or simply use her speed to blast past rivals to stay in the race. This she did well and while other riders could be seen thumping the bars or cursing their luck at being eliminated, Trott carried on, sprint after sprint until it was a small group and only pure speed was going to keep her in the race.

Thankfully, Laura has this in abundance and after having seen one of her key rivals, twice world champion Tara Whitten, get eliminated halfway through the event, Laura eventually found herself up against Sarah Hammer.

The rider from the USA has won World titles before but Laura Trott nailed Hammer to the track in the final sprint, coming in 50 metres ahead of her rival to win her second round in the Omnium after her victory in the Flying Lap.

Three events, two wins, and a share of the lead going into the final three events, two of which she has a great chance of winning as well. One has a feeling the youngster has a great chance of winning a second Gold at her first Olympic Games. Un-bloody-believable!

1 TROTT Laura
2 HAMMER Sarah
4 ROMANYUTA Evgeniya
5 WILD Kirsten
6 D’HOORE Jolien
10 WOJTYRA Malgorzata
11 LEE Minhye
13 SANCHEZ Clara
15 SHARAKOVA Tatsiana
16 Republic of China HUANG Li
17 HSIAO Mei Yu

1 TROTT Laura 12 +
2 HAMMER Sarah 12 +
3 EDMONDSON Annette 17 +
4 WHITTEN Tara 18 +
5 D’HOORE Jolien 20 +
6 WOJTYRA Malgorzata 24


1/4 Finals
The second day of the Women’s Sprint saw the quarter finals and this saw Victoria Pendleton cruise through two rides to nil against Belarusian Olga Panarina.

In heat 1, Pendleton led her rival Panarina round the track and for a long time, Panarina was giving Pendleton a lot of room. As the bell lap approached though, Panarina started her run a split second before Pendleton eased on the throttle and whilst Panarina closed right up to Pendleton’s back wheel, and had a brief go at getting past Pendleton, the British girl had the Belarusian where she wanted and the Brit rode away from Panarina to win easily.

In heat 2, Pendleton watched Panarina lead her around the track with Pendleton shadowing the Belarusian very close before dropping back, gaining some height and then slowly accelerating to a point that when Pendleton got to the back wheel of Panarina on her Gold Dolan bike, the Brit was travelling so much quicker and she simply blasted past and won it easy.

Victoria Pendleton (Great Britain) beat Olga Panarina (Belarus) 2:0
Anna Meares (Australia) beat Lyubov Shulika (Ukraine) 2:0
Shuang Guo (China) beat Lisandra Guerra (Cuba) 2:0
Kristina Vogel (Germany) defeated Simona Krupeckaite (Lithunia) 2:0


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