Updated: 19/02/2012 16:18 | By pa.press.net

Hoy books sprint semis spot



Gregory Bauge (© left)

Gregory Bauge (left) and Sir Chris Hoy

Olympic champion Sir Chris Hoy beat two-time world champion Gregory Bauge of France on the final day of the Track World Cup in London as Great Britain looked to add to their medal haul at the Olympic Velodrome.

With the men's team pursuit final between Britain and Australia to come, Hoy kept the hosts' interest alive in the sprint competition with a 2-1 quarter-final defeat of Bauge.

Hoy was the 2008 world champion and Bauge won the 2009 and 2010 world gold, but was stripped of the 2011 title for an anti-doping offence. After winning the Keirin on day three in supreme style, Hoy met Bauge, who had been given a retrospective ban which has already been served.

It was a duel worthy of the Olympic final itself, only this was the last eight of the test event.

The Frenchman took the opening bout by half a wheel from the Scotsman, who responded to level the tie by leading from the front in the second race.

The decider saw Hoy take the initiative on the second of three laps before holding off Bauge in the finale to win by a tyre's width.

Jason Kenny, appointed Bauge's successor and wearing the world champion's rainbow jersey for the first time, met Maximilian Levy in the last eight but exited the competition, losing 2-0 to the German.

Matt Crampton, riding for Sky Track Cycling, was eliminated in the last eight, falling to a 2-0 defeat to world record holder Kevin Sireau of France.

With just one entrant per country able to compete in each event in the Olympic track programme, the field for the sprint was tougher than it likely will be come August - and Hoy and Kenny are in a duel for the British place.

Hoy now seems to have the upper hand. The 35-year-old Scot qualified fastest in 9.932 seconds - the only rider to dip below 10 seconds - to be handed a more favourable draw.

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