The American women earned the Olympic silver medal in the women’s team pursuit Saturday evening at the velodrome. The women defeated the Australian team in the first round before finishing off the pace of the British trio in the final ride.
Additionally on Saturday, Jimmy Watkins (Bakersfield, Calif./Project London 2012) advanced to the quarterfinals of the men’s sprint and Bobby Lea (Topton, Pa./Pure Energy Cycling-ProAirHFA) sits in 11th place with 30 points after contesting three events of the men’s omnium.
Women’s Team Pursuit
After unofficially resetting the national record during qualifying on Friday night, the American trio of Dotsie Bausch (Irvine, Calif./OUCH Pro Cycling), Sarah Hammer (Temecula, Calif./OUCH Pro Cycling) and Jennie Reed (Seattle, Wash./OUCH Pro Cycling) unofficially lowered the national standard in their first round ride Saturday afternoon with a time of 3:16.853 against the Australians.
The Australian women started fast and opened a lead of just over 1.7 seconds. With Hammer on the front of the Americans, the gap gradually dwindled throughout three-kilometer race. In the end, the Americans edged the Australians by only .082 seconds.
“Our goal was to keep it within range and then launch it at the end and we did that,” Hammer said of their first-round contest. “We knew it was going to be a race to the finish and it doesn’t matter until crossing that finish line.”
In the gold medal final, the Americans faced a British squad that established the world record multiple times in the last two years. The U.S., seeking a fresh pair of legs, swapped Lauren Tamayo (Asheville, N.C./Exergy TWENTY12) for Reed. The Americans finished in 3:19.406, nearly five seconds off the pace of the British who again re-set their own world record with a time of 3:14.682.
“The four of us think of ourselves as the gladiators of women’s team pursuit” Bausch said. “We’re just such a mismash. We have Sarah who is a four-time world champion of the pursuit, Jennie, who is a sprinter and Keirin champion, and Lauren and I, two roadies. We just wanted it more these last two days. We fought every pedal stroke, every lap, every second.”
Watkins defeated Seiichiro Nakagawa (JPN) in the morning’s 1/16 round, before moving to the 1/8th round where he defeated Pavel Kelemen (CZE). The lone American sprinter, Watkins is slated to face Shane Perkins (AUS) in tomorrow’s quarterfinals.
After qualifying in 12th with a time of 10.247, Watkins advanced to the 1/16 final where he faced Nakagawa. Watkins, a full-time firefighter in Kern County, California, came from behind, opened a slight lead and held off Nakagawa’s late surge to move into the quarterfinals.
“My qualifying didn’t go as well as I wanted to,” Watkins said. “I started feeling better in racing. As of now, I’m on track to meet my goal. I wanted to make the 5-8. I’ve done that. I have a chance to possibly make it to the semis. Let’s see what happens tomorrow and try to keep it rolling.”
In his next matchup against Kelemen, the two riders played a brief game of cat and mouse before Watkins hit the gas and accelerated past Kelemen, pulling away from him in the final half lap.
“Jimmy had Kelemen in the 1/8th final and we were pretty confident he could beat him,” USA Cycling Track Sprint Program Director Jamie Staff said. “I kept telling him just to focus on himself and make it his ride as it is so easy to get carried away in here. He looked very composed. He had quite a few opportunities before he actually went. Once he went Kelemen just didn’t have a chance. It just wasn’t even close.”
Bobby Lea (Topton, Pa./Pure Energy Cycling-ProAirHFA) sits in 11th place in the men’s omnium with 30 points after the first three of six events. Lea placed 10th in the flying lap with a time of 13.559, 12th in the points race with 12 points and eighth in the elimination race. Lea is set to complete the six-event omnium Sunday after competing in the individual pursuit, scratch race and time trial.
Track cycling continues Sunday for USA Cycling with three men’s omnium events and the continuation of the men’s sprint competition. Lea is scheduled to contest the individual pursuit at 10 a.m. before riding in the scratch race at 5 p.m. Watkins is slated to compete at 4:34 p.m. BST.
The track events will be streamed live on www.nbcolympics.com with television coverage slated on your local NBC station. For more information on cycling at the Olympic Games, visit www.usacycling.org/olympics.
WOMEN’S TEAM PURSUIT RESULTS | MEN’S SPRINT STANDINGS | MEN’S OMNIUM STANDINGS
Olympic Women’s Team Pursuit
1. Great Britain
2. United States of America
Sarah Hammer (Temecula, Calif./OUCH Pro Cycling)
Dotsie Bausch (Irvine, Calif./OUCH Pro Cycling)
Jennie Reed (Seattle, Wash./OUCH Pro Cycling)
Lauren Tamayo (Asheville, N.C./Exergy TWENTY12)
5. New Zealand
Ellen van Dijk
Men’s Sprint Standings
Qualifying – Watkins 12th – 10.247
1/16 – Watkins defeated Seiichiro Nakagawa (JPN)
1/8 – Watkins defeated Pavel Kelemen (CZE)
1. Bryan Coquard (FRA) 10
2. Elia Viviani (ITA) 13
3. Glenn O’Shea (AUS) 14
4. Edward Clancy (GBR) 14
5. Lasse Norman Hansen (DEN) 18
6. Roger Kluge (GER) 19
7. Shane Archbold (NZL) 23
8. Walter Fernando Perez (ARG) 28
9. Zachary Bell (CAN) 30
10. Martyn Irvine (IRL) 30
11. Bobby Lea (Topton, Pa./Pure Energy Cycling-ProAirHFA) 30
12. Hosung Cho (KOR) 31
13. Eloy Teruel Rovira (ESP) 34
14. Juan Esteban Arango Carvajal (COL) 38
15. Gijs van Hoecke (BEL) 40
16. Ki Ho Choi (HKG) 40
17. Carlos Daniel Linarez Zambrano (VEN) 46
18. Luis Mansilla (CHI) 52
Photo courtesy Dr. Brent Kay