Britain takes first Gold on the Track

Posted: August 15, 2008 in cycling, Track
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,
Jamie Staff, Chris Hoy and Jason Kenny celebrating Britains first track gold in the team sprint

Jamie Staff, Chris Hoy and Jason Kenny celebrating Britain's first track gold in the team sprint

What an exciting day it has been in the first day of track cycling at the Beijing Olympics! Britain won an historic victory in the coveted Olympic team sprint final today to leave world champions France with the silver.

Chris Hoy anchored the team home after stunning rides from England’s Jamie Staff and Jason Kenny in a time of 43.128sec. France tool the silver in 43.551 with defending champions Germany beating Australia to the bronze medal.

It is the first of a possible eight gold medals that the highly-fancied British track squad could win here from the 10 gold medal events, in which Britain hold seven of the world titles.

Jamie Staff leads Jason Kenny and Chris Hoy in Great Britains record breaking ride in the team sprint qualifying

Jamie Staff leads Jason Kenny and Chris Hoy in Great Britain's record breaking ride in the team sprint qualifying

Staff, Kenny and Hoy proved unstoppable in the qualifying round where they posted the fastest time of the field in world record 42.950. They then dominated the first round in 43.034, giving France – who posted a first round time of 43.656 – another reminder of their power.

France had chopped and changed their trio of riders, replacing 14-time world champion and anchor man Arnaud Tournant with Mickaël Bourgain for the first round, before putting Tournant back in for the final.

Staff, a former BMX professional rider, was unstoppable over his first lap ride and then Kenny, a 20-year-old from Bolton who is the newest addition to the squad, took over in sensational style. Kenny’s much-hyped power briefly proved too much for Hoy, who struggled to hold the Englishman’s wheel in the latter stages of their ride together. But once he was left on his own Hoy, the reigning Olympic kilometre champion from Athens, powered round the last lap to finish comfortably ahead of Tournant.

Britain’s time of 42.950 would have won them the world title in March at the Manchester velodrome, where they finished second behind France.

Poland crashing in the team sprint

Poland crashing in the team sprint

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