Cycling: Clancy learns fast to claim omnium gold
Briton wins world title in unfamiliar event as Pendleton is forced to settle for silver
It was a final day that summed up Great Britain's track world championships. While Ed Clancy won his nation's third title here yesterday, Victoria Pendleton could not add a fourth. Britain have done well but have not come close to matching the exploits of previous years.
After Sir Chris Hoy's men's keirin win on day two and Pendleton's women's sprint triumph on day four, Clancy won the men's omnium for his first individual world title and fourth in all.
However, Pendleton was pushed into second place in the women's keirin, with Lithuania's Simona Krupeckaite taking gold.
Britain finished the championships with nine medals – three golds, five silvers and one bronze – from 19 events. However, the British team were concentrating their efforts on the Olympic events at the Ballerup Super Arena, and from those 10 categories came eight of their medals.
Clancy was ranked first after four of the five omnium events yesterday and secured victory with first place in the 1km time-trial.
The Yorkshireman, 25, was quickest in the 200m time-trial, clocking 10.488 seconds. The team pursuit Olympic champion, who won world silver on Friday and whose three previous world championship wins came in that event, was lapped twice in the second omnium event, the 40-lap (10 km) scratch race, finishing 13th before recovering to place fourth in the 3km individual pursuit, clocking 3 minutes 18.448sec, to go third overall.
He was fifth in the 60-lap (15km) points race to move into gold-medal position, a place he secured in the 1km time-trial with a time of 1:01.243.
Defending champion Leigh Howard of Australia took silver and Taylor Phinney, the world individual pursuit champion, earned bronze.
Clancy led Steven Burke, Andy Tennant and Ben Swift to a runners-up spot on Friday, losing out by 0.152sec to Australia. "I'd have rather stood up there with the boys after the team pursuit, that was what we had really worked hard for," he said after being congratulated by his team-pursuit colleagues at the end of a long day.
"I've had a great time over the last three or four months working with those lads. Having said that, it's my first individual medal of any colour and one I didn't think I'd get. It felt like I had a hangover the day after the team pursuit and that wasn't just because I raided the bar. You just feel down when you lose by such a small margin."
In the run-up to the London 2012 Olympics, Clancy could face competition in the omnium event from road race sensation Mark Cavendish and Chris Newton, the Olympic points race bronze medallist.
Clancy is a relative novice in the discipline, having never previously ridden a flying 200m before yesterday – he asked sprint coach Iain Dyer and Olympic team sprint champion Jamie Staff for advice moments before the start. He also looked to Newton for guidance on the bunch races.
He finished well down in the scratch, but performed admirably in a hard-fought points race. "I'd never done a bunch race at world standard, man I was in for a shock," he added. "[During the points race] was the hardest 30-40 laps of my life."
Lizzie Armitstead, who won women's omnium silver on day four, was ninth in the women's points race yesterday as Tara Whitten of Canada won gold. Britain were without a representative in the men's sprint on the final day after Hoy, Jason Kenny and Matt Crampton were all eliminated at the quarter-final stage.
Beijing comedown: GB's medal list
Chris Hoy (Men's Keirin)
Ed Clancy (Men's Omnium)
Victoria Pendleton (Women's Sprint)
Men's Team Pursuit
Women's Team Pursuit
Wendy Houvenaghel (Women's Individual Pursuit)
V Pendleton (Women's Keirin)
Lizzie Armitstead (W Omnium)
Men's Team Sprint
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