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Sarah Hammer wins omnium in UCI track World Cup meet in Manchester

2011 UCI Track World Cup, Manchester. Sarah Hammer
Hammer leads the Omnium elimination race

Sarah Hammer of the United States won the women’s omnium on Sunday at the UCI World Cup track cycling meet in Manchester, England.

With victories in the flying lap, elimination race, 3km individual pursuit and 10km scratch race, a runner-up finish in the 20km points race and third place in the 500m time trial, Hammer amassed a low score of 9 points to take the victory.

Kirsten Wild of the Netherlands was second with 38 and Malgorzata Wojtyra of Poland third with 42.

In the men’s team pursuit, meanwhile, Great Britain defeated New Zealand in the final with a time of 3:55.438, a little more than two seconds outside its own world record but still faster than all but four rides in history.

Bradley Wiggins and Geraint Thomas, who helped the team to gold in a world record time in Beijing three years ago, took a two-week break from their road racing careers with Team Sky to rejoin their British track teammates.

“Actually we’re a little bit disappointed with that time,” said Wiggins. “It sounds ridiculous but there has been so much talk of a world record the last few days that I’m a bit surprised we didn’t go faster.

“There has been a lot of talk about the Australians getting themselves together but, at the end of the day, we’re Olympic champions and we’re going to defend it. We’ve got to be favorites.

“We’re world record holders, Olympic champions and when we get together winning gold is as big a goal as it was pre-Beijing. Not just winning gold but putting the world record out of sight. If anyone wants to come along and take it from us, that’s what gets us going.”

The men’s team sprint, meanwhile, saw the French trio of Gregory Bauge, Kevin Sireau and Michael D’Almeida beat world champions Germany in the final, while reigning Olympic champions Great Britain could only manage a bronze.

Victoria Pendleton, winner of one gold medal in Beijing and aiming to emulate Sir Chris Hoy in winning three in London, also was stuck with bronze — she took away just two third places from the three events she will be gunning for next summer, in the individual sprint and in Sunday’s keirin, behind China’s Shuang Guo.

“I’m pretty pleased with that, I just wanted to learn from it,” Pendleton said.

“I was asked before the weekend what my expectations were and I said to hopefully podium at least once. In the process towards 2012, I’m happy to have done that. You can’t always expect to be on top of the podium, it’s impossible.”

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