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Team GB dominate cycling
Chris Hoy wins his second gold medal of the Olympics, as Bradley Wiggins gets his first.
Last Modified: 16 Aug 2008 16:37 GMT

Chris Hoy, left, and Ross Edgar of Great Britain enjoy their one-two [GALLO/GETTY]
Chris Hoy of Britain took his second cycling gold medal of the Beijing Olympics in the keirin Saturday, while his compatriot Bradley Wiggins got his first.

Both are hoping the eventual tally will be three apiece.

Earlier, Joan Llaneras of Spain took gold for a second time in the men's points race.

Two-time keirin world champion Hoy dashed away from the field in the final of the keirin, a sprint race paced by a motorized bike, and none of his rivals could get near him.

Hoy's compatriot Ross Edgar had a harder struggle, but he managed to slip across the line for the silver medal, just ahead of Kiyofumi Nagai of Japan.

"I put my head down, didn't look back. When I got to the finish line it was just unbelievable,'' said Hoy.

The keirin is an eight-lap race, where riders spend 5 1/2 laps jockeying for position behind a pacesetting motorcycle that accelerates steadily before leaving the competitors alone on the track for the final 625 meters.

Hoy was part of the British team that won the team sprint on Saturday.

He will be going for his third gold in the individual sprint on Tuesday.

Edgar, however, was left out of that team.

"I was trying not to dwell on it yesterday at all, but I did find it hard to sleep last night,'' he said.

"They had the right team and they were all flying, so I can't really begrudge any of the decisions that were made.''

The event in which Hoy won gold in Athens, the 1-kilometer time-trial, has been dropped to make way for the BMX competition.

Bad night for Dutch

It was a bad night for the Dutch sprinters. Theo Bos was brought down in the second round by Polish rider Kamil Kuczynski, who crashed in front of him, and he did not take part in the restarted race.

His compatriot, world championship silver medalist Teun Mulder, also went out.

He won the first-round repechage but was disqualified for riding outside the racing area.

In the 4,000 metres individual pursuit, Wiggins finished almost three seconds ahead of Hayden Roulston of New Zealand, completing the race in a time of 4 minutes, 16.977 seconds.

Steven Burke, added to the British Olympic team as a substitute only weeks ago and selected to race only days ago, took the bronze.

"Two rounds in the space of two hours is about as hard as it gets, but I managed to pull it off,'' Wiggins said.

"Now I'm just looking to tomorrow,'' where he will compete in the early rounds of the team pursuit.

Wiggins, 28, is hoping to improve on the gold, silver and bronze he took on the track in Athens.

Team GB seek eight golds

The British are seeking eight of the 10 track golds, and they are on target so far.

To reach his goal, Wiggins will have to race on all five days of the track cycling competition.

"It's part of the challenge of going for three gold medals,'' he said, adding that his team pursuit teammates and his madison partner Mark Cavendish are all "raring to go.''

"I might struggle in the morning tomorrow, but by the evening I will be ready,'' he added.

If Wiggins wins three medals at these games, he will become the track cyclist with the most medals in Olympic history, breaking a record that has stood for 104 years.

Wiggins broke the Olympic record in qualifying Friday, the record he himself set when he took gold in Athens.

Llaneras takes gold

Gold medalist Juan Llaneras celebrates after winning the Men's Points Race [GALLO/GETTY]
Llaneras, the champion eight years ago in Sydney and silver medalist four years ago, scored 60 points in the race, coming in ahead of Roger Kluge of Germany and World Cup champion Chris Newton of Britain.

In the points race, racers ride 160 laps of the track, taking part in sprints every 10th lap for points. Most important, however, is the bonus of 20 points they get for lapping the field.

Llaneras, Kluge and Newton were the only three riders to lap the field twice.

Speaking shortly after his victory, Llaneras said he was thinking of his former madison partner, Isaac Galvez, who died after crashing during a race in Belgium in 2006.

"I remember all the people who support me. At this very moment, I remember Isaac,'' Llaneras said.

More British gold to come

Saturday also saw the first round of the women's individual pursuit, and again it was a British rout.

World champion Rebecca Romero will face her compatriot Wendy Houvenaghel in the gold medal race on Sunday afternoon, while Alison Shanks of New Zealand will face Lesya Kalitovska of Ukraine for the bronze medal.

Shanks put out two-time world champion Sarah Hammer of the United States and Romero beat Athens silver medalist Katie Mactier of Australia.

Romero is competing in her first Olympic cycling event but already has a medal, she was part of the British team that took silver in the quadruple sculls in rowing, four years ago in Athens.

Houvenaghel, a 33-year-old dental surgeon, began cycling only six years ago.

She took gold with Romero in the women's team pursuit at the world championships in March.

Source:
Agencies
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