Four-time Olympic champion Sir Chris Hoy boosted his selection hopes for the men's sprint tournament at the London 2012 Games by beating several potential gold medal rivals at the World Cup here on Sunday.
Hoy, who is vying with world champion and compatriot Jason Kenny for the sole sprint slot allocated to each nation at the Games, beat Germany's Maximilian Levy 2-0 in the final of this Olympic test event.
It came a day after he hit a top speed of 78 km/h on his way to victory in the keirin and gave Hoy a confidence boost ahead of the April 4-8 world championships in Melbourne where their sprint selection battle will be decided.
"This is the best I've been since Beijing, there's no question. I hit my fastest lap in the sprint since Beijing and hit my fastest ever speed in the keirin," said Hoy, who anchored Britain to team sprint bronze on Friday.
A day after sealing his keirin place at the London Games, Hoy turned his attention to showing that he, and not Kenny, is the man Britain should have on the sprint start line at the London Games.
Although a final decision is not expected to be made until the end of the world championships, Hoy's performances have him ahead on scores.
That put the Scot into a semi-final with Robert Forstemann, but another formidable show of tactical nous and unbeatable speed moved him past the German and into the final with Levy, who had beaten Frenchman Kevin Sireau 2-0 in the semis.
Although admitting that beating Bauge earlier in the day had given him an extra spur of confidence, Hoy said taking one opponent at a time was key.
"I don't really worry too much about individuals, but once you get that confidence boost and realise you can do it, it does help. But in every sprint competition you can't look too far ahead," said Hoy.
"It's one race at a time, and when it's best of three you can't even afford to think about the second ride or the third ride. I had some tired legs at the end, but I still had the strength to put Max (Levy) away at the end."
Despite taking what appears to be a significant stride in his bid to be allowed to defend his Olympic titles in the sprint, team sprint and keirin, Hoy is not ruling Kenny out yet.
"There's still a long way to go. Jason's (Kenny) a formidable opponent. He's not going to lie down and accept it. He's going to fight back in Melbourne," said Hoy.
"I think he'll be disappointed about today, but he's not far away. He was up against Max in the quarter-final, who was the eventual silver medallist. He's almost there and he's a crafty rider.
"If he gets a little bit more speed before the World Championships he'll be a tough nut to crack. It's not over by a long shot."
Source: AFP Global Edition