Olympics: Archbold finishes out of the medals

By Michael Brown

New Zealand Cyclist Shane Archbold might not have picked up a medal in the men's omnium but he thinks he deserves a gold for the best haircut at these Games.

The Timaru rider finished seventh in the omnium, the decathlon of track cycling that is competed over six events. He was the second-fastest of the 18 riders in the 200m flying lap but was a lowly 15th in the 30km points race and 13th in the scratch race to finish on 48 points overall.

Archbold stood out from the pack, however, even under his shiny helmet and it's something he's immensely proud of. Archbold has a mullet to rival Ewen Gilmour of former England footballer Chris Waddle.

"It's the coollest hairstyle I have seen in the Olympic village," the 23-year-old Archbold said.

"I will definitely take that home as one of my proudest moments. I would like to see any media come up with a photo better than the mullet in the Olympic village this year. The pressure is out there.''

It came about after a dare from his old coach, Olympic silver medallist Hayden Roulston, and the current coiffure has been in place for three years. It has given rise to the nickname the Flying Mullet.

Sadly, he didn't fly quickly enough at the velodrome and was too passive in the points race, an event that is his acknowledged Achilles heel.

It also didn't help that he punctured halfway through the 4000m individual pursuit last night (NZT) when he was riding a fast time. He re-started and still posted the sixth-fastest time but it cost him valuable seconds that would have moved him up the standings in the individual pursuit. It didn't really effect his overall position, however.

The omnium was a new event at these Olympics and there are no guarantees it will remain. It's not on the Commonwealth Games programme for Glasgow in 2014 but, regardless, Archbold wants to establish himself as a bona fide road rider.

Natasha Hansen's future is most definitely on the track. The 22-year-old Invercargill air traffic controller made a late charge for Olympic qualification in the women's sprint events over the past 12 months and eventually finished 11th in the keirin and 12th in the individual sprint.

While her results were respectable, she was well off the pace of the likes of Great Britain's Victoria Pendleton and Australian Anna Meares but will be a much better rider in four years' time.
" I'm a bit gutted because I always want to go out there and win,'' she said. "And even though I wasn't really in contention to get a medal, I still feel disappointed not to be up there. I guess tonight I will reflect on what I have achieved and not be too down on myself.

"Coming into this Games there were no expectations on me to win a medal. I have been targeted for Rio. It's been great for me to have this opportunity to see what it's all about.

"Being here has made me that much hungrier than I was mid-season. In terms of bang for your buck in me coming here, it's definitely been good working towards Rio.''
New Zealand's Jo Kiesanowski starts her omnium campaign with the flying lap tomorrow morning (NZT).

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