Scroll to the bottom and read upwards to see how the day unfolded. It’s been a hectic, breath-taking first day in the velodrome. CW will have live coverage again on Monday and Tuesday but check the site regularly over the weekend for all the news and reaction from Beijing.
PERFECT START FOR GREAT BRITAIN
Chris Hoy, Jamie Staff and Jason Kenny got the track campaign off to a flying start with gold in the men’s team sprint.
That was the only gold medal on offer in the Laoshan velodrome and the British got it, to add to Nicole Cooke’s gold and Emma Pooley’s silver on the road.
In the men’s individual pursuit Bradley Wiggins qualified fastest with a new Olympic record time and young Steven Burke also made it through to tomorrow’s round one, finishing fifth.
In the women’s individual pursuit Wendy Houvenaghel and Rebecca Romero were the only riders under 3-30 as they qualified first and second.
|Men’s team sprint finals|
1 Great Britain 43.128
2 France 43.651
3 Germany 44.014
12.11pm GOLD FOR BRITAIN
The first gold on the track goes to Great Britain. Amazing stuff. 43.128. Staff’s start was blistering. Kenny was absolutely sensational on the second leg. Hoy could not hold his wheel. But the Brits were always ahead of France and Hoy powered round the final lap.
The French were the favourites, but Great Britain were so fast, they simply had no answer.
“Hoy has legs as strong as motorway pillars,” another cracker from Hugh Porter.
12.09 GOLD MEDAL MATCH
Can GB do it again? 42.950 in the qualifying round for Staff, Kenny and Hoy.
The French have put Tournant back in for Bourgain, who replaced him in the first round.
12.06pm BRONZE MEDAL RACE
Australia v Germany for bronze in the men’s team sprint.
… And Germany get bronze. Enders, Levy and Nimke are the first medallists on the track in this Games. It was mighty close though.
|Women’s Individual pursuit qualifying|
Britain’s riders finish first and second. Houvenaghel will face Kozlikova in round one. Romero will go up against Mactier, the woman she caught in qualifying.
1 Wendy Houvenaghel (Great Britain) 3-28.443
2 Rebecca Romero (Great Britain) 3-28.641
3 Lesya Kalitovska (Ukraine) 3-31.942
4 Alison Shanks (New Zealand) 3-34.312
5 Sarah Hammer (USA) 3-35.471
6 Vilija Sereikaite (Lithuania) 3-36.063
7 Katie Mactier (Australia) 3-38.178
8 Lada Kozlikova (Czech Republic) 3-39.561
9 Karin Thürig (Switzerland) 3-40.862
10 Maria Luisa Calle (Colombia) 3-41.175
11 Verena Jooss (Germany) 3-44.480
12 Svetlana Pauliukaite (Lithuania) 3-45.6
13 Evelyn Garcia (El Salvador) 3-54
Romero is flying. Amazing stuff. She has blitzed round the second km in 1-07. Mactier is dying out there now and is going to be passed by Romero.
Mactier started fast, but Romero ? a medallist in rowing four years ago ? is really getting going now.
It couldn’t have gone any better for Great Britain on day one in the track. Houvenaghel is through to round one of the women’s individual pursuit.
Now for Romero versus Mactier, the Aussie who has twice denied Houvenaghel a bronze medal at the World Championships.
Recent rumours have been that Romero has been suffering with her back, the injury that contributed to her decision to quit rowing.
11.58am NEW BEST TIME FOR HOUVENAGHEL
3-28.443 a PB for Wendy H. Quickest so far. Rebecca Romero next in the final heat.
2-20.494 – a second faster than Hammer at the 2km split. Houvenaghel is doing a ride here, just better than her PB. Great stuff so far. And she looks smooth ? her position and style is made to look even better by the rocking style of the former world champ Hammer.
11.53am NEW BEST TIME
Lesya Kalitovska of the Ukraine has just set the new best time. Now time for Houvenaghel and Hammer. We’ve resisted the temptation to say ‘It’s Hammer Time’ because a) it shows our age and b) We hope it’s Houvenaghel Time.
The Brits are making themselves heard in the velodrome but our man in Beijing reports that the atmosphere is a little muted apart from the Brits.
11.45am THE STORY SO FAR
Well, if you have just joined us, welcome. It’s been a hectic session in the Laoshan velodrome and it got off to a dramatic start with a crash for the Polish team in the first heat of the men’s team sprint.
In a nutshell: Great Britain have powered through to the final of the men’s team sprint and will face France shortly. Staff, Kenny and Hoy are on fire, setting a new world’s best time in the qualifying round. The French are on the rack.
Bradley Wiggins broke his own Olympic record and set a new PB to top qualifying in the men’s individual pursuit. Amazingly, Steven Burke qualified fifth, hacking six seconds off his PB with a 4-22.
Heat 3 of 7 has just finished. Houvenaghel goes in heat six, Romero in seven. Thürig is second fastest so far, showing perhaps a little effect after he bronze-medal ride in the women’s time trial on the road a few days ago.
The women’s individual pursuit is underway. In the meantime the Great Britain team for team sprint gold medal race against France is unchanged. It’s Staff, Kenny, Hoy. Can they get the first gold medal on the track? It would be sensational if they did.
|Women’s Individual pursuit qualifying|
Evelyn Garcia (El Salvador)
Lada Kozlikova (Czech Republic)
Svetlana Pauliukaite (Lithuania)
Karin Thürig (Switzerland)
Verena Jooss (Germany)
Maria Luisa Calle (Colombia)
Vilija Sereikaite (Lithuania)
Lesya Kalitovska (Ukraine)
Alison Shanks (New Zealand)
Sarah Hammer (USA)
Wendy Houvenaghel (Great Britain)
Rebecca Romero (Great Britain)
Katie Mactier (Australia)
|Men’s individual pursuit qualifying|
The results are confirmed and the line-up for tomorrow’s first round is:
Volodymyr Dyudya (Ukraine) v Steven Burke (Great Britain)
Alexei Markov (Russia) v Antonio Tauler (Spain)
Hayden Roulston (New Zealand) v Taylor Phinney (USA)
Bradley Wiggins (Great Britain) v Alexander Serov (Russia)
The fastest two race winners will compete for gold. The other two race winners will go for bronze.
|Men’s team sprint round one|
Up next is the team sprint round one.
11.21am GREAT BRITAIN WILL FACE FRANCE FOR GOLD MEDAL RACE
This is blistering stuff. CW couldn’t see the French being beaten but the rumours that the GB trio have been going half a second quicker than they did in Manchester in March have turned out to be true.
So, the gold medal race will be Great Britain v France later. Germany will face Australia for bronze.
ROUND ONE RESULTS
Australia (44.090) beat Netherlands (44.212)
Germany (43.699) beat Japan
France (43.656) beat Malaysia
Great Britain (43.034) beat USA
17.308 is the time of the first lap. Not as quick but still on course.
29.925 after two laps.
43.034 to make the final and face the French.
The Brits need to beat Germany’s time of 43.699 to make the gold medal final. Just a reminder that 17.198 was the time of Jamie Staff’s opening lap in the qualifying round. The fastest ever.
11.16am FRANCE IN GOLD MEDAL RACE
Fastest so far with a time of 43.656. Now for the Brits.
11.15am BOURGAIN REPLACES TOURNANT AS ANCHOR MAN
The French are obviously worried. In comes Bourgain. They need to beat the Germans to guarantee a place in the gold medal race later.
11.14am GERMANS THROUGH
It’s all happening thick and fast in the velodrome. There’s hardly a moment to pause between heats, but then they are running 30 minutes behind schedule. The Germans were off very fast and got it together to beat the Australian time.
11.11am AUSSIES THOURGH TO MEDAL RACE
They beat the Netherlands with a time of 44.090.
Heat 1: The Aussies have replaced Shane John Kelly with Ryan Bayley. They are up against the Netherlands. Winners go through. Losers go out.
|Men’s individual pursuit qualifying|
INDIVIDUAL PURSUIT, CONFIRMED
1 Bradley Wiggins (Great Britain) 4-15.031
2 Hayden Roulston (New Zealand) 4-18.990
3 Alexei Markov (Russia) 4-21.498
4 Volodymyr Dyudya (Ukraine) 4-21.530
5 Steven Burke (Great Britain) 4-22.260
6 Antonio Tauler (Spain) 4-22.462
7 Taylor Phinney (USA) 4-22.860
8 Alexander Serov (Russia) 4-23.732
9 Bradley McGee (Australia) 4-26.084
10 Sergi Escobar (Spain) 4-26.102
11 David O’Loughlin (Ireland) 4-26.102
12 Brett Lancaster (Australia) 4-26.139
13 Jens Mouris (Netherlands) 4-27.445
14 Vitaly Popkov (Ukraine) 4-30.321
15 Fabien Sanchez (France) 4-33.100
16 Carlos Alzate (Colombia) 4-35.154
17 Alexandr Pliuschin (Moldova) 4-35.438
18 Jenning Huizenga (Netherlands) 4-37.097
That time by Wiggins is the fifth-fastest of all-time.
11.07am NEW BEST TIME AND NEW OLYMPIC RECORD
Bradley Wiggins has got his Games off to a perfect start with a time of 4-15.031. Easy. Tops the qualification and will race against the Russian Alexander Serov in tomorrow’s first round. Burke goes through too.
Wiggins is on course to break his Olympic record after 2km.
It’s likely in this qualifying round that Shane Sutton and Wiggins will ride to a schedule of around 4-16. Having said that, his opening km is inside his Olympic record and PB, set in Athens four years ago, of 4-15.165.
11.02am KENNY KEEPS HIS PLACE
Sprint coach Jan Van Eijden has confirmed that Jason Kenny will keep his place in the team sprint trio for round one which is up after this final individual pursuit heat. Bradley Wiggins, who has reportedly been doing times of 4-13 in training, and the Russian Alexei Markov.
11.01am NEW BEST TIME
Kiwi Hayden Roulston is the first under 4-20 with a 4-18.990. Very tidy from the man in black. The surprise of the Worlds, Huizenga, flopped badly… like a salmon that’s been hoiked out onto the river bank, perhaps.
Roulston is going well, 2-11 for the first 2km, and he’s catching Huizenga. Hugh Porter has just said: “He’s reeling him in like a salmon on a line,” which goes down as the first fish-related analogy of the Olympics so far.
Here are a couple of quick guys in the penultimate heat. Dutchman Jenning Huizenga who stunned everyone at the Manchester Worlds in March with a 4-16 which knocked Wiggins down to second place in qualifying. Hayden Roulston is the New Zealand record holder.
McGee is in danger of missing out with only a 4-26.084 – enough for sixth place with four competitors to go. O’Loughlin was home in 4-26.102
Silver medallist from four years ago, Brad McGee of Australia, is on the track now, with David O’Loughlin of Ireland. McGee is not the force he was, but he’s still no slouch. O’Loughlin is off nicely in a 1-08 for the first km.
10.48am NEW BEST TIME
Dyudya finally knocks Burke off the top but with only six riders to go it means the young Brit is definitely through to the next round.
According to the schedule, we should be starting the first round of the men’s team sprint now, but they are already behind, partly because of the problems for the Poles and Japanese and the fact they had to re-run.
It has been confirmed that Jamie Staff’s opening leg is the fastest in team sprint history. The French have got a big problem on their hands if they are to beat Great Britain later on.
Meanwhile, the experienced Ukrainian Dyudya is blazing round the track in the pursuit.
A lot of excitement surrounding Taylor Phinney, the 18-year-old American. He is in heat six with 35-year-old Volodymyr Dyudya.
For those who don’t know, Phinney’s mother is Connie Carpenter, who won road race gold in Los Angeles in 1984. His dad is Davis Phinney, who won a stage in the Tour de France. Phinney is the current world junior champion too. He’s going to be huge by London in four year’s time.
Alexander Serov of Russia is outside Burke’s time. It is looking as if the young Brit may make the top eight, which could cause BC a headache as they had intended to field him in the qualifying round of the team pursuit.
10.38am BURKE STILL FASTEST
Heat 5 is on the track at the moment. Sergi Escobar of Spain and Alexander Serov of Russia. Another Spaniard, Toni Tauler, is the closest to Burke so far.
Burke is telling the BBC that he was only told he was in the individual pursuit yesterday morning. He looks a little stunned by his time.
Wow. What a time for Burke. 4-22.260, nine seconds inside his PB. Now he must wait to see if that’s enough for the top eight and a place in round two.
Burke has really upped the pace and is on course for a PB. He’s caught the Colombian.
10.17am BURKE ON THE TRACK
Britain’s 20-year-old Steven Burke is up on his opponent, the Colombian Carlos Alzate after the first kilometre. Burke’s PB is a 4-31 and if he were to beat that, it’d be a good result.
The individual pursuit qualifying round is underway. However, the results for the team sprint have been confirmed and the first round, which is at 10.45am, has been confirmed.
It will be:
Heat 1: Netherlands v Australia
Heat 2: Germany v Japan
Heat 3: France v Malaysia
Heat 4: Great Britain v USA
The winning four teams contest the medals.
|9.55am Men’s individual pursuit qualifying|
Competition rules Fastest eight riders progress to round one where qualifying times will determine the draw. It will be 1st v 8th, 2nd v 7th, 3rd v 6th, 4th v 5th.
Fabien Sanchez (France)
Brett Lancaster (Australia)
Carlos Alzate (Colombia)
Steven Burke (Great Britain)
Antonio Tauler (Spain)
Jens Mouris (Netherlands)
Vitaly Popkov (Ukraine)
Alexandr Pliuschin (Moldova)
Sergei Escobar (Spain)
Alexander Serov (Russia)
Taylor Phinney (USA)
Volodymyr Dyudya (Ukraine)
Bradley McGee (Australia)
David O?Loughlin (Ireland)
Jenning Huizenga (Netherlands)
Hayden Roulston (New Zealand)
Bradley Wiggins (Great Britain)
Alexei Markov (Russia)
|Men’s team sprint qualifying round|
1 Great Britain 42.950 sec
2 France 43.541
3 Germany 44.197
4 Netherlands 44.213
5 Australia 44.335
6 Japan 44.454
7 Malaysia 44.725
8 USA 45.346
9 China 45.446
10 Greece 45.645
11 Czech Republic 45.678
12 Russia 45.964
13 Poland 45.266
There is some debate about the British time and whether it is a world record. Technically it is a ‘world’s best’ because there is no set distance for the event. It’s three laps of the track. But it’s definitely a world’s best on a 250m track.
In all the excitement we missed the German time, which was 44.197. Poland and Japan have also run again after their mishaps earlier.
The French are on the rack. How must they have felt watching the British ride? France do 43.541, with the Netherlands on 44.213.
Chris Hoy pats Jason Kenny on the back. Hoy struggled to keep up with Kenny. That was an outrageous ride by the youngster from Kenny. But it was all kicked off by a fantastic opening lap by Jamie Staff.
9.58am: 42.950 FOR GB AND A NEW WORLD’S BEST
The Brits are flying. Inside British record pace and a new world’s best time. Amazing stuff. 42.950 seconds for Great Britain. Reports from the camp had been saying that the GB team were setting some fast times in practice, but that is astonishing.
The TV cameras seek out Hoy’s family in the crowd. Sad to see empty seats in the same shot.
Heat 6, the penultimate heat, features Great Britain in the home straight and the Athens 2004 champions Germany. This is a repeat of the first round match of four years ago.
This is it. Jamie Staff is kicking it off. Then goes Jason Kenny before Chris Hoy finishes it off.
The Aussies look good, the Russians a bit loose. A NEW BEST TIME of 44.335 for Australia, not far off their national record. The Russians were in 45.964.
Heat 5: Australia and Russia.
The press seats are choc-a-bloc. Shame the same can’t be said about the spectator seats. Scandalous that there are empty seats and something the IOC really needs to look at for future Games.
TV replays seem to suggest the Japanese rider snapped a chain although it could have been a split tyre. Whatever it was, it was nasty. They will also get to ride again at the end of the round, like the Poles who had a crash.
Our man in the track centre in Beijing says that a lady is sitting next to him wearing a white t-shirt and white Pearl Izumi arm warmers. As he says: “What’s Chinese for nodder?”
More drama. The Chinese are being roared on but one of the Japanese riders swung off the track early with a problem, either mechanical or a puncture. The Chinese are third fastest so far. The Japanese will have to wait to see if they are allowed to ride again.
Heat 4: The Japanese were the surprise silver medallists in Athens four years ago. How will they go today? A bit of a delay here as the Chinese struggle to get sorted in their gate.
Heat 3: The Malaysians have just set a NEW BEST TIME in heat three. They’ve been training down in Melbourne ahead of the Olympics and it has paid off with a new best time. Now it’s China and Japan on the track.
The Poles will get to ride again at the end of the qualifying round. It looked like their third man, Lukasz Kwiatkowski, was overlapping his team mate’s wheel. The Americans go next.
An awful start for the Poles there as their third man hit the second man’s rear wheel and came crashing down. I’ve never seen that before in the Team Sprint. He must have been doing at least 65kph there too. He’ll be sore tonight.
There’s a few union flags in the crowd. I suspect at least one of them belongs to Chris Hoy’s dad. Mr Hoy senior is interviewed in this week’s Cycling Weekly – available from all good newsagents only £2.50 – on how he supported his son throughout his career. (We’ll be getting the crowbar out to ram in a few more plugs throughout this live coverage.)
With just a few minutes to go the seats here are still half empty. The organisers have been having real problems with filling the various arenas in Beijing. The ticket selling structure wasn’t particularly clever and there’s no sign of any ticket touts so tickets are literally going to waste.
The riders have just been called off the track so we’re nearly ready to go. Two cheerleading groups have just performed to the crowd and some men with no shame have been dancing about in inflatable suits. Chris Boardman gave an instant critique of the suits. He said they weren’t very aerodynamic. He’d know, I guess.
Here is the line-up for the men’s team sprint. Thirteen teams in action. Poland have the track all to themselves, then the remaining heats feature two teams. Very straightforward – eight fastest teams go through.
Britain’s trio features Jason Kenny, the 20-year-old from Bolton, with the legend Chris Hoy and the experienced Jamie Staff.
Not sure about you, but the team sprint is one of the tensest events on the track. Such a thin line divides glory from despair.
Remember four years ago Britain went up against Germany in round one and despite turning in the second-fastest time of the entire competition, lost to the Germans and went out.
Let’s hope there is no repeat of that heartache this time.
|9.30am Men’s team sprint qualifying|
Competition rules Fastest eight teams progress to round one where qualifying times will determine the draw. It will be 1st v 8th, 2nd v 7th, 3rd v 6th, 4th v 5th.
Poland (Maciej Bielecki, Kamil Kuczynski, Lukasz Kwiatowski)
USA (Michael Blatchford, Adam Duvendeck, Giddeon Massie)
Czech Republic (Tomas Babek, Adam Ptacnik, Denis Spicka)
Greece (Athanasios Mantzouranis, Vasilieios Reppas, Panagiotis Voukelatos)
Malaysia (Mohd Azizulhasni Awang, Josiah Ng, Mohd Rizal Tisin)
China (Yong Feng, Wenhao Li, Lei Zhang)
Japan (Kiyofumi Nagai, Tomohiro Nagatsuka, Kazunari Watanabe)
Australia (Daniel Ellis, Mark French, Shane Kelly)
Russia (Sergey Polynskiy, Denis Dmitriev, Sergey Kucherov)
Great Britain (Chris Hoy, Jason Kenny, Jamie Staff)
Germany (Rene Enders, Maximilian Levy, Stefan Nimke)
France (Gregory Bauge, Kevin Sireau, Arnaud Tournant)
Netherlands (Theo Bos, Teun Mulder, Tim Veldt)
Welcome to Cycling Weekly?s coverage of the first day of racing at the Olympic velodrome.
If you are reading this, presumably it’s because you are stuck somewhere without a telly in view. Perhaps you are at work and can’t quite get away with watching the BBC’s iPlayer… Whatever, the reason, it’s great to have you with us. Don’t panic ? our team in Beijing will keep you up to date with all the action as it happens.
The Polish trio kick off the first event of the day ? the qualifying round of the men?s team sprint ? at 9am.
After that there is the qualifying round of the men?s individual pursuit and the women?s individual pursuit before the medal finals of the men?s team sprint at 11.40am.
We have full details of today?s programme and start lists here.
While you?re waiting, let us point you in the direction of some of the features we?ve added to the site in the past day.
? We trace the roots of British Cycling?s success from the dark days of 1996 to world super power.
The Lottery-funded revolution
? Our pictures take you inside the Laoshan velodrome.
Beijing?s theatre of dreams
? The British team is reported to be in great shape just ahead of the track programme.
British riders raring to go
? A look at why the challenges presented by the Laoshan velodrome and why the sprinters love it.
Long straights at the Laoshan
? CW assesses the GB medal chances and makes its usually bold predictions for each event.
How many medals will Great Britain?s riders win?
? And if you want to know who the favourites are in each event, this list of all of results in the Olympic disciplines at recent World Championships and the Athens Games four years ago.
World and Olympic track results 2004-2008