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Page last updated at 09:16 GMT, Monday, 18 August 2008 10:16 UK

Vos surges to women's points gold

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Video - Vos storms to points gold

Dutch cyclist Marianne Vos produced an unstoppable performance to win Olympic gold in the women's points race.

The 21-year-old world champion finished on 30 points, ahead of Cuba's Yoanka Gonzalez and Leire Olaberria of Spain.

Vos was the only rider to claim 20 points by lapping the field and becomes the first Dutchwoman to win the event.

Britain's Rebecca Romero, who triumphed in the women's individual pursuit on Sunday, finished 11th in just the second points race she has competed in.

Romero became the first British woman to win two medals in two summer Olympic sports having also won a rowing silver in 2004, but her lack of experience in the points race meant she was never a serious medal contender.

In the women's sprint, meanwhile, Britain's Victoria Pendleton looked in sensational form as she beat Lithuania's Simona Krupeckaite 2-0 to reach the semi-finals.

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Video - Romero happy with points performance

The points race comprises 100 laps of the velodrome with 10 sprints - one every 10 laps.

On the sprint laps, five points are awarded for first place, three for second, two for third and, one for fourth and the rider with the most points wins the race.

If a rider gains a lap by catching the peloton, as Vos did with 33 laps to go, they gain 20 bonus points.

Romero surged away from the field just past the half-way point but failed to catch the peloton and had to settle for three points by crossing the line in second place on sprint six.

The race featured a crash that took out Sarah Hammer of the United States, Satomi Wadami of Japan and Verena Jooss of Germany.

But Vos, the first woman to have won world championships in road, track and cyclo-cross cycling, steered clear of the melee before taking her first Olympic track gold.


In an exciting finale to the race, she kept watch on her rivals to make sure none of them imitated her earlier feat.

A number of attacks came and went, and both Maria Luisa Calle of Columbia and Gonzalez were consistent in searching out the points.

But it took until the final few laps of the race for the silver and bronze to be decided. Gonzalez and Calle sat in joint second going into the last of the 10 sprints and Gonzalez took command at the front of the peloton to add a further five points to her tally, taking her to 18, while Calle move to 13.

In the event of riders finishing with the same number of points, the one who finishes ahead of the other on the final sprint takes precedence.

Olaberria had only 10 points ahead of the final sprint, but the Spaniard sprinted to second place behind Gonzalez to take her tally to 13, picking up the bronze and leaving Calle down in fourth place.

see also
GB pursuit team set world record
17 Aug 08 |  Cycling
Awesome GB sprint team take gold
15 Aug 08 |  Cycling
Britain win sculls silver
22 Aug 04 |  Rowing
Cycling on the BBC
28 Jul 08 |  Cycling

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