Lizzie Armitstead was the hero of the day with a fantastic silver medal in the scratch race, made all the more impressive after she took a nasty tumble with eight laps to go, but leapt back on her bike to re-join the race.
Victoria Pendleton also had a great day in the women’s sprint as she took on her quarter final rival McCulloch of Australia with confidence and beat her comfortably in 2 straight matches. Victoria faces Krupekaite in the semi final. Earlier in the day Jessica Varnish finished 20th in the qualification rounds
The scratch race proved the most dramatic event of the day. Lizzie Armitstead had the race under control from the start, pegging back a succession of breaks from the combative Canadian Tara Whitton and others.
The first break to really split the field came from US rider Shelly Olds who slipped away alone and took half a lap, forcing the race to split into two then three groups. Armitstead didn’t panic and conserved her energy, comfortable in the bunch when the peleton reformed.
It was looking like a straight bunch sprint until, with 8 laps to go, a touch of wheels high up on the banking, brought several riders, including Lizzie, tumbling down. Luckily no-one was seriously injured and the crash happened right in front of the pit, with everyone rejoining remarkably quickly with the help of their team mechanics.
Lizzie was dazed but put the fall behind her as it came down to a final sprint. Dutch rider Eleonora Van Dijk was the first to attack, with only Armitstead, Cuban Gonzalez and Belinda Goss of Australia able to stay in touch. Van Dijk faded as Gonzalez and Armitstead came to the front, the Cuban finally taking it just ahead of a hard charging Lizzie.
Danielle Sellwood, Sportsister
The Women’s Sports Magazine
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