Sir Chris Hoy was once again the star of the show on the final day of the Track World Cup at London’s Olympic Velodrome.
Hoy took the honours in
the sprint as Team GB topped the medal table despite being outclassed in the men’s team pursuit final against a rampant Australian squad.
Laura Trott continues
to impress in the omnium as she finished a fine third, while Vicky Pendleton placed fifth in the keirin.
Hoy got the ball rolling with the fastest time in sprint qualifying (a 9.932), and came from behind to beat Gregory Bauge 2-1 in the quarter finals. He disposed of Robert Forstemann with relative ease in the semis, before beating another German – Maximilian Levy – in two rounds in the final.
Hoy’s victory gives him the upper hand in the role for the sole sprint place for the Olympics, particularly as Jason Kenny – wearing the rainbow jersey as world champion in the event for the first time – lost to Levy in the quarters. Outside bet Matt Crampton also bowed out at that stage to Kevin Sireau, having been handed a reprieve after succombing to Scott Sunderland in the previous round.
The euphoria in the velodrome after Hoy’s victory couldn’t have been more different to that after the team pursuit final. Despite leading after the first kilometre, the British team (Steven Burke, Ed Clancy, Pete Kennaugh and Geraint Thomas) soon became ragged, while the Australians looked flawless. Their time of 3.54.615 was not only close to beating GB’s world record that has stood since Beijing four years ago, but was also a national record.
Laura Trott won the women’s omnium time trial on her way to taking her second third-place finish in the discipline in the four World Cup rounds this winter. Impressively, Trott finished above reigning world champion Tara Whitten, and her combined tally of 32 points was only two off winner Sarah Hammer (USA) and Australian Annette Edmondson.
Elsewhere, Vicky Pendleton had an eventful day in the keirin before finishing fifth overall. Pendleton only finished third in her qualifying heat, and only progressed after winning her repechage. She led home a GB one-two in the third quarter final heat, although team-mate Jess Varnish was
eliminated in the semis. Simona Krupeckaite (Lithuania) took the victory, beating Wai Sze Lee (Hong Kong) and Shuang Guo (China).
In total, Great Britain won five golds (men’s keirin, men’s sprint, women’s team sprint, women’s team pursuit, women’s individual pursuit) in the meeting, one silver (men’s team pursuit) and two bronze medals (men’s team sprint and women’s omnium). However, there is still plenty of work to do ahead of April’s World Championships and the big one in the