Men’s sprint: Team GB rider Carlin reaches quarter-finals
After a slow start with Sébastien Vigier leading the way while peering over his right shoulder starring into the eyes of Jack Carlin, the 24-year-old Scot overhauled the Frenchman with apparent ease. As Jason Kenny said yesterday, he is looking very good and, possibly, Team GB’s best chance of a medal in this enent.
Lavreysen strolls through to next round
In the second match-up between Dutch and Malaysian riders, world champion Harrie Lavreysen got the better of Muhammad Shah Firdaus Sahrom to join Jeffrey Hoogland in the quarter-finals.
Hoogland into the quarter-finals
Jeffrey Hoogland (Netherlands) progresses to the quarter-finals after beating Azizulhasni Awang, the Malaysian is through to the repechages.
Now let’s move over to the men’s sprint
The winner of each heat will qualify for the quarter-finals, while the losers go through to the repechages where they will get get a second bite of the cherry. Once the quarter-final line-ups are decided the format reverts to a best-of-three race between each pair, while the semi-final races and the all-important medal races are tomorrow.
Dutchmen Jeffrey Hoogland and Harrie Lavreysen, who set the fastest two time in qualifying on Wednesday – both completed their flying 200 metre laps in 9.215sec – are looking to be in imperious form, while Jack Carlin (below) may be Britain’s strongest sprinter.
Speaking after the opening day of competition in the men’s sprint, Jason Kenny, the defending Olympic champion, backed Carlin, saying he stood the best chance of the two to win a medal on Friday.
“Jack is really strong and is in a really good position,” Kenny said of the 24-year-old Scot. “He’s definitely our best chance. The Dutch boys are fast, a little bit quicker but Jack’s got the edge in racing. He’s a good racer and if he keeps it together he’s in a really good position.”
Scratch race | Team GB rider Walls takes early lead
Having gained a lap on the field as part of that five-man breakaway, Matthew Walls (Great Britain) wins the opening event after rolling over the line in third place. A very good start for the 23-year-old who plies his trade for Bora-Hansgrohe during the road season. Walls was third in this event at the 2020 world championships and so, one suspects, Elia Viviani will be very concerned about that.
Scratch race | 10 laps to go
Benjamin Thomas (France), Jan-Willem van Schip (Netherlands), Matthew Walls (Great Britain) and Artyom Zakharov (Kazakhstan) bridge over to Niklas Larsen (Denmark) with the quintet gaining half a lap on the field.
Scratch race | 15 laps to go
Niklas Larsen (Denmark) puts in a dig off the front, but he has his work cut out – he has only gained around a quarter of a lap thus far.
Scratch race | 25 laps to go
David Maree and Szymon Sajnok are reeled back in. Elia Viviani (Italy) briefly sits on the front, the reigning omnium champion from five years ago has a look around the field to monitor what’s what.
And they’re off . . .
Straight from the gun
Kenny De Ketele, the Belgian six-day specialist, moves to the front of the field, but there are plenty of rotations in the group. Five laps into the race David Maree (South Africa) clips off the front taking with him Szymon Sajnok (Poland).
Men’s omnium: The scratch race . . .
All 20 riders are lined up on the track, half of the field along the inner sprinter’s rail while the others are next to the outer railing near the seated stands inside this 3,600 capacity velodrome that has a reduced number of spectators (900) inside it during the Games.
Of all of the events in the omnium, the 10km scratch race is possibly the most straightforward with it pretty much being the first rider over the line that wins. No extra points are earned for lapping the field and there are no mid-race sprints where bonuses can be earned. However, riders can gain laps on the field to ensure they cannot be beaten by any of their rivals in the bunch, while anybody who is lapped twice may be withdrawn leading to a points deduction.
Hello and welcome to our live rolling blog from the fourth day of the Olympics track cycling at the Izu Velodrome in Shizuoka, Japan.
Following yesterday’s quite extraordinary men’s team pursuit final in which Italy beat world champions Denmark to win their first gold medal in the discipline in the event since 1960, all eyes will be an another Italian this morning. Five years after winning Olympic gold in the men’s omnium, Elia Viviani gets his title defence under way at 7.30am (BST) in the new-look four-format of the multi-discipline event. No longer contested over two days, the men’s omnium now comprises the scratch, tempo, elimination and points races.
Viviani cannot expect a cakewalk today, however, and will face 19 opponents who will have woken up today in Japan dreaming of gold. In order for Viviani to take home the title he must first beat Kenny De Ketele (Belgium), Niklas Larsen (Denmark), Roger Kluge (Germany), Mark Downey (Ireland), Artyom Zakharov (Kazakhstan), Jan-Willem van Schip (Netherlands), Aaron Gate (New Zealand), Théry Schir (Switzerland), Gavin Hoover (United States), Sam Welsford (Australia), Andreas Müller (Austria), Yauheni Karaliok (Belarus), Albert Torres (Spain), Benjamin Thomas (France), Matthew Walls (Great Britain), Christos Volikakis (Greece), Eiya Hashimoto (Japan), Szymon Sajnok (Poland) and David Maree (South Africa). It may not have as many big names as were in Rio – and we are thinking about Mark Cavendish and Fernando Gaviria here – but there will be an awful lot of talent and experience on show today.
Aside from the omnium, the men’s sprint competition concludes with Team GB riders Jack Carlin and Jason Kenny both in action, as is reigning world champion Harrie Lavreysen and fellow Dutchman Jeffrey Hoogland. The women’s keirin quarter-finals, semi-finals and medal races also take place today with British hopes resting on shoulders of Katy Marchant, who took home a bronze medal from Rio in the event. Strap yourselves in folks, it’s going to be hectic.