Dylan Kennett looked as if he might be among the medals in the men’s omnium today, before eventually dropping back to eighth place.
The 21-year-old Waimate rider had a brilliant second day of the six-event omnium and rocketed up the leaderboard.
His day began well with news that cycling officials had reviewed his performance in yesterday’s scratch race and decided they got it wrong. Kennett was elevated from 10th to fifth for the event.
In the first event today, the men’s time trial, Kennett was a handsome winner in 1min 00.923s, almost 2½ seconds ahead of the rest of the field.
Into the flying lap and Kennett mustered impressive speed, being timed at 12.506s to again win the event. For those with an interest in these things, his average speed was 71.96kmh.
So entering the final omnium event, the points race, Kennett was in fourth place and had high hopes of getting among the medals. It was an action-packed race in which Briton Mark Cavendish caused a fall that brought down eventual gold medallist Elia Viviani of Italy and others.
Kennett had a good first sprint to move into the bronze medal position, but thereafter slipped back.
In the overall points, Viviani won with 207, followed by Cavendish on 194 and Denmark’s Lasse Norman Hansen on 192. Kennett did a lot of hard work, won two events, but came in eighth on 143 points.
“I had two big PBs today,” Kennett said. “I was close to the world record in the kilo and got an Olympic record for the omnium flying lap.”
He said that in the points race, when the leaders put a lap on the field he decided to have a go.
“I hoped I could recover, but I ran out of legs. I stuffed up the elimination yesterday and got overawed. But this was my first major omnium and I will learn from the experience.”
Lauren Ellis began her quest in the women’s omnium today.
The 27-year-old was fifth in the scratch race, sixth in the individual pursuit in the excellent time of 3min 33.221s and 11th in the elimination race.
At the end of the first day she was 8th overall on 82 points. The leader was Laura Trott of Great Britain.
Ellis was pleased with her day’s work.
“I had a good scratch race and a big PB in the pursuit. The elimination was strong, so it was a pleasing first day,” she said.
Natasha Hansen’s run in the women’s sprint ended with a ninth placing.
Hansen was unable to get past German Kristina Vogel in her heat. The New Zealander was timed at 64.302s and finished 0.094s behind.
She had one more chance to progress and rode in the sprint repechage, but was outmanoeuvred by Virginie Cueff of France and Simona Krupeckatie of Lithuania, finishing 0.150s off the pace.
Hansen later won the race for ninth to 12th placings.
While disappointed not to make the top eight, Hansen was generally pleased with her form.
“I wanted to go deeper in the competition, but ninth is reasonable. I only rejoined the squad last year and with Anthony Peden’s help I’ve improved a lot. I am really motivated for the future,” she said.Rio 2016 Olympic Summer Games Natasha Hansen Dylan Kennett Lauren Ellis Cycling - Track