We’re proud to have access to former world silver and Commonwealth Games bronze medallist – and now Eurosport commentator – Tony Gibb, who is providing us with a daily insider’s view of life in and around the Olympic velodrome. Here’s his view of Sunday’s action from the velodrome – and the main Olympic stadium.
Another medal for Clancy
Track World Cups last three days, occasionally four, while the World Championships last five days. At those we have the five Olympic events plus a scratch race, individual pursuit, kilo/500-metre time trial and men’s Madison. So why, why oh why has the Olympic schedule taken six days? The sessions have been short, very short. I just think we could have had it all wrapped up a bit quicker, and quite a few of the riders who I have spoken to feel the same.
So when I got to the track tonight, I saw the track manager. I asked him what idiot decided it would be a good idea to kick Brad out the other day. He said that would be me. Well, that was an awkward moment! Anyway, we discussed it. He told me it was holding up worldwide TV pictures. I told him it wasn’t. We disagreed and walked away from each other. Never liked him anyway!
So back to the bike racing, There was just one round of the sprints today. Like I said, it all could have been wrapped up much quicker.
But tonight belongs to ‘Red’ Clancy. Okay, so he had a howler in the scratch race, but Glenn O’Shea far exceeded Ed’s troubles by at times looking like he had just finished the men’s triple jump, the size of the squares he was pedalling. Elia Viviani and Bryan Coquard were head and shoulders above the rest in the elimination race, as they had been all year, but despite Clancy’s best efforts of taking out Lasse Norman Hansen by knocking him off he took a lap in the scratch and held his own in the elimination. The Dane posted the fastest time in the pursuit, and with Clancy PBing with a very close second it was all set for a final showdown.
The Dane held on in the kilo, Viviani went out very fast and parked in the bus stop, Coquard held his own for silver and Clancy produced a time only two-tenths outside Sir Chris Hoy’s winning time and Olympic record from Athens. With three team pursuits and the rest of the omnium events in his legs in the last four days. Machine!
In other news, GB admit that they have round wheels without magic dust in them, the French still accuse their own national wheel sponsor and French brand Mavic of colluding with GB to have placed 17 hamsters inside each disc wheel to run furiously when needed to assist in setting world records. Oh and the hot pants have been proven to just be McLaren F1 tyre warmers painted blue.
Star-spotting at the 100 metres final
In other, other news, and the highlight of my games so far, through furious blagging and copious … Sod it, I’ll just admit I lied through my teeth and wangled my way in to the 100 metres final! My good friend Will Carling was watching so I made some lame excuse to the purple t-shirt on the door that I just wanted to say hi to Lisa and then managed to hot seat my way around until 21:50 and see the most popular event of the Games.
Usain Bolt delivered but sod that, I was sat behind the Queen (well, Dame Helen Mirren), Steven Gerrard and somewhat amazingly just across the stairs from the one and only Lionel Messi! I have to admit I was slightly star-struck, but only slightly though! Normality will resume tomorrow.