IF KATY Marchant’s rivals were optimistic that the overnight break might slow her down in Rio then it didn’t take the Leeds cyclist long to put those hopes to bed.
Marchant was back in action at the Rio Olympic Velodrome on Monday, fresh from advancing to the individual sprint elimination races with the second fastest time behind Becky James, who broke Victoria Pendleton’s Olympic record in doing so.
Waiting for Marchant in the round of eight heat was Germany’s Miriam Welte, who looked to catch the 23-year-old napping with an early break.
But on the final lap Marchant reeled in her opponent and took her on the home straight to win in 12.247 seconds and set up a quarter-final clash on Tuesday with Lithuanian Simona Krupeckaite.
The sprint poses Marchant’s only chance of a Rio 2016 medal, and her hopes were boosted yesterday as defending champion Anna Meares crashed out of the competition.
But teammate James also safely navigated her way through to the last eight and coach X Iain Dyer isn’t ruling out another all British sprint for gold after Jason Kenny beat Callum Skinner to the title the previous evening.
“It was a good morning and it was a case of job done,” Dyer said. “They both looked good and feel good and are still in the competition.
“There is still a lot of racing to go and anything can happen but with both competing well you never know what might happen – we will just have to wait and see.”
It was another good night in the Rio Olympic Velodrome for Team GB as Laura Trott leads the women’s Omnium at the halfway stage.
Trott – who is going for Olympic gold number four – was second in the scratch race before securing victories in the individual pursuit and elimination race.
That leaves her sitting pretty atop the standings on 118 points, eight ahead of second-placed Jolien D’Hoore of Belgium.
And Mark Cavendish finally got his hands on an Olympic medal at the third time of asking, picking up silver in the Omnium.
The Manx Missile finished 13 points behind Italian Elia Viviani and was quick to point out the incredible support the likes of he and Marchant receive as Great Britain once again dominate an Olympic cycling medal table.
“I think Great Britain has proved again that we have some of the best riders in the world,” said Cavendish, with Great Britain having won seven gongs, four of which are gold, ahead of today’s final action.
“But I think what is getting lost in all this is that we have the best support staff in the world and they are tremendous in getting us on the podium.
“From the coaches to the analysts, the nutrionists and physios – it is a great set up and you can see that out here.”
Aldi is the first Official Supermarket partner of Team GB and has been championing our nation’s extraordinary athletes on their Road to Rio and encouraging the public to tuck into fresh, affordable, Great British food. For more information visit aldi.co.uk