Sir Chris Hoy made light work of his keirin round this morning as he began his bid for what would be an historic sixth Olympic gold medal.
He rode away from everyone except for New Zealand’s Simon Van Velthooven. The Kiwi knew Hoy’s wheel was the one to be on, and followed him when he made his move with one-and-a-half laps to go.
As Hoy accelerated again through the bell the pair went clear. When they crossed the line the four riders behind were ten bike lengths back and spread all over the track.
Germany’s Maximilian Levy and France’s Mickael Bourgain won the next two heats, both of which finished will all six riders bunched closely together.
Hoy’s clear win was an ominous sign for the other nations, especially the French who were left stunned by Jason Kenny’s win in the sprint yesterday. Gregory Bauge, the man he beat, was so frustrated by the Kenny’s 2-0 victory that he started asking Kenny questions in the press conference as the gathered journalists looked on.
Bauge was favourite to win yesterday’s sprint, but lost to Kenny who, like in Beijing, produced his peak performance on the day it mattered. Hoy is favourite for the keirin and should he, like Kenny, hit a four year peak this afternoon it would take a miracle to beat him. And the other nations know it.
Sarah Hammer of America was fastest in the individual pursuit to take a one point lead after four rounds of the women’s omnium. Hammer, a former individual pursuit world champion beat Laura Trott by one second.
Trott was second, beating the times of Tara Whitten of Canada (who had beaten her in the IP at the world championships) and Annette Edmondson of Australia.
Trott is the favourite to win the 500m time trial final event, meaning the others must try to beat her in the scratch race. Whitten and Edmondson must also hope some of the lesser ranked riders take up the places between them and Trott and Hammer.
This is not easy to do. Both Whitten and Edmondson need to make up seven points on Trott and eight on Hammer just to draw level, and there are only 18 riders in the field. The only tactic for both Whitten and Edmondson is to try and force a slow race that allows riders low down the rankings to gain a lap, and then to get a lap themselves in the final stages. All the time hoping Trott and Hammer don’t gain the lap.
Meanwhile, Hammer and Trott will be watching each other, while also making sure Whitten and Edmondson don’t escape.
In total, three medals will be decided tonight on the track, and British riders are in contention for all three. The third event is the women’s sprint, which will be Victoria Pendleton’s last ever race. If she can stand on the podium tonight it will make for an emotional finale to her cycling career that started when she was just nine years old.
London 2012: Live text coverage of cycling events
August 6: Track cycling day five
August 5: Track cycling day four
August 4: Track cycling day three
August 3: Track cycling day two
August 2: Track cycling day one
August 1: Men’s and women’s time trials
July 28: Men’s road race
July 29: Women’s road race
London 2012: Latest news
GB doing something right says O’Shea
Comment: Hindes’s purposeful crash – fair or foul?
New format for team pursuit explained
Pendleton and Varnish out of team sprint
‘Hot pants’ key to Pendleton and Hoy sprint
Britain’s sprinters looking to continue GB medal haul
Wiggins: Tour was perfect Olympic TT preparation
Olympic time trial round-up
Pendleton warms up for London 2012
Cancellara in, Evans out of time trial
CW eyewitness: Remember the name
Cavendish finds solace in commitment of his team mates
London 2012: Team info
Men’s road race start list
Women’s road race start list
Men’s time trial start list
Women’s time trial start list
Team GB rider profiles
Great Britain track team confirmed
Bronzini leads Italian Olympic cycling team
British Olympic men’s road race team announced
Armitstead and Cooke lead GB women’s road cycling team
London 2012: Event guides
Mountain bike event guide on
Olympic Games men’s time trial: Who will win?
Olympic Games women’s time trial: Who will win?
Olympic time trial routes announced
Olympic Games women’s road race: Who will win?
Olympic Games men’s road race: Who will win?
Download detailed Olympic road race route map
London 2012 cycling schedule
London 2012: Reports
Tremendous Trott eliminates the rest in Olympic omnium
Kenny stuns Bauge in sprint to win second gold
Bronze for Clancy while Pendleton marches on
Pendleton sets new Olympic record to qualify ahead of Meares
Trott, King and Rowsell keep gold medals coming
Kenny lights up a stuttering men’s sprint competition
Track day two: Pendleton and team pursuiters deliver more gold
Track cycling day one: Hoy leads team sprinters to gold
Wiggins wins gold in men’s time trial, bronze for Froome
Armstrong defends Olympic title in women’s time trial
Cycling events medal table
Women’s road race: Armitstead wins silver as Vos strikes gold
Men’s road race: Vinokourov wins as Cavendish misses out
London 2012: Photos
Track day five by Graham Watson
Track day four evening session by Andy Jones
Track day four evening session by Graham Watson
Track day four morning session by Andy Jones
Track day four morning session by Phil O’Connor
Track day three evening session by Andy Jones
Track day three evening session by Phil O’Connor
Track day three morning session by Andy Jones
Track day two by Phil O’Connor
Track day two by Graham Watson
Track day one by Andy Jones
Track day one by Phil O’Connor
Track day one by Graham Watson
Men’s time trial by Graham Watson
Women’s time trial by Graham Watson
Pendleton track training
Women’s road race by Andy Jones
Women’s road race by Graham Watson
Men’s road race by Andy Jones
Men’s road race by Phil O’Connor
Men’s road race by Graham Watson
Team GB road race training on Box Hill (July 26)
London 2012: Podcasts
Cycling Weekly podcasts on Soundcloud
London 2012: TV schedule
London 2012 BBC TV cycling coverage schedule
London 2012 Eurosport cycling coverage schedule
CW’s dummies’ guide to track racing
World’s best BMXers in London 2012 test event
Olympic road race test event: Report card
Cavendish wins London-Surrey Cycle Classic
London-Surrey Cycle Classic photo gallery
Olympic road race route officially revealed
London 2012 tickets on sale from March