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Hansen wins gold medal in men's omnium

Sunday - 8/5/2012, 2:43pm  ET

AP Sports Writer

LONDON (AP) - Lasse Norman Hansen of Denmark won the gold medal in the men's omnium at the London Velodrome on Sunday after surviving a crash in one of the six races of the event.

Hansen hit the wooden boards on a curve after connecting with the rear wheel of Briton Edward Clancy in the scratch race. He escaped uninjured and went back on the track.

He managed to rejoin the peloton after regaining a lap and finished sixth at the line. Hansen then produced a full-on effort in the kilometer time trial to win the first Olympic title in the event with 27 points.

Bryan Coquard of France took the silver medal with 29 points, and Clancy claimed bronze with 30 points.

The omnium is like a decathlon of cycling, only with six events. Each rider receives a score in each race equivalent to his or her finishing position. The lowest total score wins.

Hansen, a bronze medalist at the world championships earlier this year, crashed soon after the start of the scratch race, in which all the riders compete over 15 kilometers.

Spurred by a noisy crowd, the Dane caught the peloton and moved to the top of the standings, level with Italy's Elia Viviani and Bryan Coquard of France, before the final time trial. There he posted the second-best time, 1 minute, 02.314 seconds.

Clancy, a former world champion and a gold medalist in London with the pursuit team, gave all he had left in the time trial and clocked 1:00.981, nearing the Olympic record of 1:00.711, set by Chris Hoy in Athens in 2004.

It wasn't enough. He had wasted his chances with a poor result in the scratch race, where he finished 10th after losing a lap.

"I came here for team pursuit gold," Clancy said. "In the omnium, I knew it was touch and go."

He thanked his team and said British cyclist Mark Cavendish had called to offer advice.

"In the points race, those guys just tore me apart," he said. "In the scratch, I was in it to win it, but I didn't have the legs. At one point I was looking at getting the gold but, in the scratch, it just slipped away."

Coquard, the only Frenchman competing in endurance events in London, gave his country its second silver. The 20-year-old is a former two-time junior world champion. He is expected to go pro after the Olympics.

Mixing endurance and sprint races, the omnium is very popular in cycling schools because it offers youngsters a chance to develop their versatility.

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