Five nations win Olympic track cycling gold in Rio
The track cycling competition at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, concluded on Tuesday after six days of exciting racing. World and Olympic records were broken multiple times, including four world record rides in the Women's team pursuit alone.
Great Britain was, once again, the dominant nation of track cycling, as they were in both Beijing and London. The Brits won a total of 11 medals - six gold, four silver and one bronze. However, this was one less gold than the previous two Olympics, and four other nations also won Olympic titles.
Britain swept the men's sprint competitions, led by Jason Kenny, who took his fourth, fifth and sixth titles, joining former team mate Sir Chris Hoy with the most gold medals for a British athlete. He won individually in the sprint and keirin, and with team mates Callum Skinner and Philip Hindes in the team sprint.
The British women similarly dominated the endurance competition, with Laura Trott - fiancée to Jason Kenny - winning her third and fourth Olympic titles. She was untouchable in the Women's Omnium, and was a member of the team pursuit squad that knocked more than three seconds off the existing world record going into the Games. Trott was joined on that squad by Katie Archibald, Elinor Barker and Joanna Rowsell-Shand.
Great Britain took their sixth and final gold medal in the Men's team pursuit, again setting a world record in the process. Sir Bradley Wiggins, former Tour de France winner, returned to the track to join the squad for the Rio 2016 Games and won his fifth career gold medal, giving him a total of eight Olympic medals, including one silver and two bronze medals; that is the most Olympic medals of any British athlete. He was joined on the winning squad by Edward Clancy (who won his third gold medal in the team pursuit), Steven Burke and Owain Doull.
Britain was denied gold medals in four events, with four separate nations taking those titles. China won the first cycling gold medal in the nation's history, in the Women's team sprint, with the duo of Gong Jinjie and Zhong Tianshi.
Kristina Vogel, of Germany, held off two British challengers to win the Women's sprint title, crossing the finish line on a broken saddle that flew off her bike onto the track.
Italy's Elia Viviani took revenge for his loss at the UCI World Championships in the Men's Omnium, by holding off British road star Mark Cavendish for his Olympic win.
Elis Ligtlee, of the Netherlands, also denied the British a win in the Women's keirin with a dramatic early attack that held off all challengers to give her nation an Olympic title.
It was clear in Rio that while Great Britain is still the strongest track nation, the rest of the cycling world is catching up.