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Crash dashes O’Shea’s hopes; Edmondson seventh at halfway mark

16 August 2016

CYCLING - TRACK: A crash midway through the sixth and final event dashed Glenn O’Shea’s aspirations of a podium finish in the men’s omnium at the Rio Olympic Velodrome on Monday.

Sitting in seventh position and just eight points off the top three, O’Shea hit the deck, unable to avoid a crash of two riders ahead of him.  The race was temporarily halted as team staff doctors treated the riders involved, with a gutsy effort from O’Shea to rejoin the race and finish seventh overall.

“I saw it unfolding and I tried to hit the gap in between them falling off but I didn’t make the gap,” O’Shea said, visibly reeling from the crash with multiple skin burns.

“It happened really quick, I didn’t really have time to make a decision and over I went.

“I’m ok now, I bounced back up pretty quick. I hit my knee, but the adrenalin kicked in.”

On Sunday, the 2012 world champion O’Shea opened his Rio campaign with fourth in the 60-lap scratch race, eleventh in the individual pursuit round (4:28.350), and ninth in the elimination race to sit seventh overall at the halfway mark on 76pts. 

O’Shea recommenced on Monday with a strong ride that saw him post the second fastest time trial (1:02.332) to grab 38pts and move just 12 points from the top three.

A fifth place in the in the flying lap round saw O’Shea move up to sixth, just eight points shy of bronze.

The pace was on from the start of the fast and ferocious points race, with Italy’s Elia Viviani and reigning Olympic champion Lasse Norman Hansen (NED) dictating the race. 

With 100 of 160 laps remaining, two riders came down in front of O’Shea and with nowhere to go, the Australian also hit the track dashing his medal aspirations. The race was put into neutral and O’Shea re-joined the race after regrouping.

However, O’Shea was unable to keep up with the cracking pace set by Viviani, Hansen and Great Britain’s Mark Cavendish who rode away to complete the podium.

“I came out strong today, those two were pretty much PBs in the timed events this morning so the legs were there, it just didn’t go my way in the points race,” O’Shea said.

“That was probably the hardest first half of a race until I fell off that I’ve ever been in.

“In the elimination yesterday I felt I had good legs, I had all the right moves, it’s one of those events where you make one wrong move and you’re eliminated.

“That’s bike racing sometimes, it is unlucky, I don’t think I’ve ever fallen off in an omnium ever so that’s a first time and it happened at the Olympics.

“The three guys on the podium deserve to be there, they were the strongest three guys over two days.”

In the women’s omnium, 2012 London bronze medalist Annette Edmondson begun with sixth in a hotly contested scratch race, before a seventh place in the individual pursuit pushed her down one spot to seventh.

After a fifth place in the third event – the elimination race – Edmondson sits in seventh position on 90pts, 28 behind event leader Laura Trott (GBR).

The women’s omnium continues on the final day of track competition on Tuesday, while the men will line up for the keirin.

Matthew Glaetzer will look to unleash after two fourth place finishes over the first five days in Rio - in the team and individual sprint.

The youthful exuberance of rookie Patrick Constable make him one to watch in the action packed event.

The men’s event is always chock-full of fire power, Joachim Eilers (GER), Ed Dawkins (NZ), Gregory Bauge (FRA),  Jason Kenny (GBR) and Callum Skinner (GBR) just a few in a superbly strong field looking for glory.

The men’s final will take place at 6.20pm (7am AEST August 17). 

Amy McCann

olympics.com.au

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