Aust tops cycling table, but Brits ominous

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Australia may have topped the medal table at the track cycling world championships but Britain excelled where it matters most in the Olympic events.

Both nations finished with six gold medals but five of Britain’s came in Olympic events, while Australia picked up titles in three events to be contested at the London Games.

It was an ominous warning by the British team four months from their home Games.

Competition between the two nations was intense at Melbourne’s Hisense Arena and will be just as fierce in London.

Australia finished a close second behind Britain in three events in Melbourne – the men’s and women’s team pursuits and the women’s omnium – while Victoria Pendleton beat local favourite Anna Meares in a thrilling semi-final of the women’s sprint to go on to win the gold.

Britain’s four-time Olympic champion Chris Hoy also won gold in the men’s keirin.

Australia’s Olympic golds came in the men’s team sprint, Glenn O’Shea in the omnium and Meares in the keirin.

Hoy emphasised Britain’s strength with an astonishing ride to win the keirin gold on the final night of competition on Sunday.

With only metres left in the final, Hoy was boxed in and seemingly out of medal contention.

But rather than go around the outside, he somehow created a gap between German Maximilian Levy and New Zealander Simon Van Velthooven to take out his 11th world title.

Australia’s Meares had earlier won her 10th world title and second for these championships when she won the non-Olympic 500m time trial.

Australia finished with six gold, six silver and three bronze, while Britain won six gold, four silver and three bronze.

© AAP 2014
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