Cycling trio on track in gold chase
Aug 07 2012
Great Britain are on course for further success in the Olympic velodrome with Sir Chris Hoy, Victoria Pendleton and Laura Trott in strong positions to take their second gold medals of the London 2012 Games.
Victoria Pendleton began the last afternoon of her cycling career with a comfortable opening victory in her best-of-three sprint semi-final at the London 2012 Olympic Velodrome. The 31-year-old defending champion and six-time world sprint champion was drawn on the inside but was never troubled by opponent Kristina Vogel as she took a 1-0 lead in the contest.
Chris Hoy is in action in the second round of the keirin, effectively a semi-final, after making straightforward progress. Trott was in second place after four of the six disciplines in the omnium, with Sarah Hammer of the United States one point ahead, on the final day of action on the track.
Hoy began his bid for a British record sixth Olympic gold with a first-round victory in the keirin, which begins behind a motorised Derny bike.
After watching team-mate Jason Kenny land the sprint title Hoy won in Beijing, the Scot rode in the first of three keirin heats and had to finish in the top two to advance at the first time of asking. The 36-year-old world keirin champion did not wish to hang around and followed Njisane Nicholas Phillip's early move before powering to the front with one and a half laps to go.
Pendleton, who is set to retire after Tuesday's competition, won keirin gold on Friday and is seeking a third Olympic title in all to become Britain's most successful female. The 31-year-old from Stotfold in Bedfordshire was on course to meet perennial rival Anna Meares in the final, if she beat Vogel and the Australian could overcome Guo Shuang of China in the second semi-final.
While Pendleton and Hoy are unlikely to grace another Olympics, 20-year-old Trott, a team pursuit champion on Saturday, was set to perform four years ahead of schedule.
World omnium champion Trott won two of the three disciplines on the opening day of the event before finishing second in the three-kilometre individual pursuit in three minutes 30.547 seconds.
Sarah Hammer of the United States finished in 3mins 29.554secs and assumed the lead. Canada's Tara Whitten was third in the discipline in 3:31.114 and Annette Edmondson of Australia fourth in 3:35.958.
Hammer was on 13 points, with Trott on 14, seven points ahead of Whitten, who was tied with Edmondson on 21 points. With the scratch race and 500m time-trial still to come, effervescent Cheshunt rider Trott, who appears set to inherit Pendleton's mantle as queen of the track, was well placed.
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