Cycling: Hammer steers U.S. to gold, Dibben roared to title

Fri Mar 4, 2016 5:35pm EST
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By Martyn Herman

LONDON (Reuters) - Sarah Hammer led the U.S. to their first gold medal in women's team pursuit before Britain's Jonathan Dibben produced a thrilling climax to day three of the world track championships in the points race on Friday.

The 32-year-old Hammer, winner of five individual pursuit world titles in her illustrious career, steered rising stars Kelly Catlin, Chloe Dygert and Jennifer Valente to victory over a Canadian quartet who hung on grimly but could not keep up.

"It's very emotional, this is my eighth world title but I've been waiting my whole career to get a first team title," Californian Hammer told reporters at the London velodrome where they had beaten world champions Australia in the semis.

"Doing it in a team there's nothing like that. It's the fact that there is no one individual more important than another. It's one unit all working together."

Scratch race champion Laura Trott helped Olympic champions Britain clinch the bronze medal with victory over New Zealand.

But the cheers for Trott were nothing compared to the deafening roars for Dibben who won the 160-lap points race at the death to double the host country's gold-medal tally.

The often puzzling tactical race, which awards points for intermediate sprints every 10 laps, looked as though it was heading to Austria's Andreas Graf.

Dibben then won the penultimate sprint and, knowing he needed to win the final one to pip Graf, produced a sensational burst of raw acceleration to snatched it.   Continued...