Lauren Ellis has moved up into 7th after the 500m time trial at the Rio Olympic Games women’s omnium. Laura Trott further cemented her lead, but a personal best time from Ellis was enough for her to move up a place in the standings with just two events remaining.
Lauren Ellis entered the third event of the women’s omnium in eighth place on 82 points. 26 points separated Ellis from the bronze medal, with 36 points to first placed Laura Trott. The next event was the 500m time trial, an event that Ellis had a best time of 36.747 seconds in. That time wasn’t expected to win her the event as it did for Dylan Kennett; but it would be interesting to see how close she could get to the top of the leaderboard.
PB from Ellis and a waiting game ensues
After some initially very hasty times by the earliest riders the pace was set by French rider Laurie Berthon in 35.275 seconds. Next to go directly after her was Lauren Ellis, with her opposite rider being Australia’s Annette Edmondson. Edmondson was fancied to do well in the 500m time trial, and both riders blasted out of the blocks; with Ellis desperate to keep her momentum going from yesterday.
Edmondson was quickly second fastest after one lap, but Ellis had work to do. Edmondson was flying though and she became the first rider to go sub-35 seconds for 500m in a time of 34.938 seconds. For Ellis it would be a matter of waiting and seeing what the other favourites could produce. Her time of 36.427 seconds was a best time for her but put her in a provisional 8th place in the event.
Scratch race winner Sharakova was up next against Kirsten Wild, but neither of them were strong sprint time trial riders. Wild was fastest, but only 10th fastest, unable to dislodge Ellis from her 8th place for now. The eighth heat pitted Sarah Hammer of the USA and Amelie Dideriksen of Denmark against each other. Hammer, silver medallist in London, needed a good ride and she was sixth fastest after the first lap. Pounding down on the pedals she stopped the clock third fastest with 35.366 seconds; moving Ellis down into 9th place. Hammer punched the air with satisfaction at her ride; knowing that it would put pressure on overall leader Laura Trott and second placed Jolien D’Hoore who finally went next.
Trott tightens grip on another gold medal
Trott appeared the slower out of the blocks but they were both very evenly matched at the first lap; D’Hoore slightly quicker. But Trott came through to stop the clock faster, second fastest overall with D’Hoore fourth fastest. Trott’s time of 35.253 seconds was faster than all of her principle rivals and put her in an even stronger position in the overall standings. Her 156 points put her 12 points up on Jolien D’Hoore with Sarah Hammer on 140 points.
Despite finishing just outside the top ten, Ellis’ performance was stronger than a number of riders who’d started ahead of her in the standings. A personal best ride from her was enough to move her into 7th place with 102 points with the flying lap and points races to come.