Elia Viviani wins cycling gold for Italy, Mark Cavendish silver adds to Team GB medal haul
Italian rider Elia Viviani held off British cycling star Mark Cavendish and reigning champion Norman Lasse Hansen of Denmark to win the gold medal in the multi-discipline omnium on Monday.
Viviani led his rivals entering the points race, the last race in the six-discipline event, and had just enough legs to hold off Cavendish and Hansen to win Italy’s second cycling medal of the Rio de Janeiro Games.
Elisa Longo Borghini won bronze in the women’s road race.
WATCH: golden moments on Day 10 at the Rio Olympics
Cavendish finally managed to claim an Olympic medal that has long eluded him.
The winner of 30 stages of the Tour de France, Cavendish was the only British rider to miss out on a track cycling medal at the 2008 Beijing Games in the Madison — no longer part of the program. Cavendish was also favored in the road race at the 2012 London Games but missed out on the podium.
The race was briefly neutralized with 99 of the 160 laps left when Cavendish cut down the track and ran into Park Sang-hoon. The South Korean rider was strapped to a backboard and left on a stretcher.
Race officials said later that he did not sustain serious injuries.
Viviani showed remarkable consistency, winning the elimination race and finishing third in the individual pursuit and time trial Sunday. He then took second in the flying lap to start the final day of competition, building a 16-point lead over second-place Cavendish entering the points race.
At that point, all Viviani had to do was mark his rivals’ moves.
WATCH: relive the action involving Hong Kong athletes on Day 10 at the Rio Olympics
Hansen will rue his last-place finish in the elimination race. The Danish rider won the scratch race and individual pursuit to take a huge early lead, but his stunning misstep in the third event of the program proved too costly to overcome.
Britain can conclude another monster performance in the velodrome on Tuesday, when Becky James and Katy Marchant try for individual sprint medals, Trott aims to defend her omnium title and Kenny tries to win his third gold medal of the Rio Games in the keirin.
Their team can match their feat of the past two Olympics, when they won seven gold medals in Beijing and four years ago in London. They have already won men’s and women’s team pursuit gold, along with the men’s team sprint and Kenny’s individual sprint title.
The potential for seven gold medals in 10 events is even more astounding when you consider the British squad didn’t even qualify a team for the women’s team sprint.
Oh, and James and Callum Skinner each have won silver medals, too.
The path to gold in the individual sprint became easier for James and Marchant when Olympic champion Anna Meares of Australia lost in the repechage Monday. James will face Zhong Tianshi and Marchant will face Simona Krupeckaite in the quarterfinals Tuesday morning.
Medals in the women’s sprint, men’s keirin and women’s omnium will be decided Tuesday night.