Olympic Feature: Women’s Team Sprint

 

This will be the first time this event has been included in the Olympic programme and, like the Team Pursuit for women, it has seen huge progress in the run up to the games, with a new World Record being set by the Germans at the World Championships.  We reported all the action here World Champs Day 1 - Team Sprint

 

Germany set new team sprint world record 

 

It is one of the more straight forward events.  It starts off with a qualifying round and the fastest eight teams progress to the first round.  The fastest team rides against the eighth fastest, 2nd versus 7th, 3rd v 6th and 4th v 5th.  The four winning teams from this round go forward to contest the medals - the two teams with the fastest times will compete for gold and the other two teams for bronze.

 

For qualifying there is just one team on the track, but after this teams race against each other, starting on opposite sides of the track. Each member of the team must lead for one lap, so the lead rider pulls up after one lap and leaves her team mate to ride the final lap alone.  The first team to cross the finish line is the winner.

 

Times have been tumbling this year.  GB posted the fastest time ever at the Olympic test event in February, but this World Record was beaten twice during the World Championships in Melbourne and we can expect teams will go even faster in London.

 

Australia team sprint

 

Talking to British Cycling, Jan Van Eiden believes there are some strong contenders for this title who will all looking to make their mark on the event.

 

“I think the team sprint in the London world cup was a big step for Jess Varnish especially. Even in Melbourne during qualification, she rode the second fastest time of her life. It’s just that other nations had moved on massively, especially the Germans.

 

 

“We certainly learned something as a coaching team from having London then the worlds, I think we are definitely in with a chance in London. We just need to see how far we can progress in the lead up to the games this summer."

 

It will be a thrilling opener at the London Velodrome.

 

 

Women’s Key Facts

 

Current World Record: Germany 32.549 (Miriam Welte, Kristina Vogel )  

 

Olympic dates: 2 August

 

Venue: Velodrome, Olympic Park

 

Distance: 500m

 

Format: The Team Sprint starts with a qualifying round, with the best eight teams going forward to the first round.  The fastest four then progress to the medal rounds.

 

Medal Favourites:   Germany were the surprise winners of the World Championships, pushing the Australians into second.  The Aussies will be hungry for this title, but GB has also thrown their hat into the ring with a dominant performance at the Olympic Test event. 

 

 

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