The British Madison duo of Ethan Hayter and Matt Walls won an impressive silver medal at the Tokyo Olympics yet believe they could have maybe challenged the victorious Danes for gold.
"It's pretty great. It's a shame we didn't come away with gold, but yeah, we're still happy to get silver. The Danes were just so strong today," Walls said after the finish.
"It came down to three points in the end," Hayter added. "I was a bit rusty actually, I could probably have made the three points in some of those sprints."
The duo had opened their race well, picking up early sprint points to surge into the gold medal position, before seeming to fade in the middle of the race as the Danes took charge, then launching a late storming attack to claim the final sprint points and boost them up into second.
“He chucks me in, and I’m going as hard as I can. I chuck him in, he went as hard as he can," Hayter explained, picking apart the finer points of the Madison discipline.
"We were not really thinking about the gold medal, it was a really tough race."
The pair helped Britain pull clear at the top of the Tokyo cycling medal table, the silver medal now the only difference between GB and the Netherlands.
“It looks crazy to watch, but surprisingly from the inside you’ve got a pretty good idea of what's going on because everyone kind of has the same speed as us," Hayter added. "From the outside it just looks crazy, but you’ve gotta keep track."
The Danes will prove popular winners, with Deceuninck - Quick-Step road racer Michael Mørkøv finally having a chance to take the top step of the podium himself after spending nearly every race day of most seasons riding to put others there.
“I've been waiting a very long time for this," Mørkøv said. "In 2008 my partner Alex Rasmussen and I were leading the world cup and we were among the favourites for the [Beijing] Games, and we finished sixth.
“The year after I was world champion and then this event was taken off the Olympic programme. It was a big bummer, but in 2017 when I heard it was back on the programme, I was in no doubt that this would be my shot at an Olympic medal.”
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