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Local Athlete Secures Silver

Sarah Hammer of Temecula gets a silver medal for the U.S. women's pursuit track cycling team

By Sarah Grieco
|  Saturday, Aug 4, 2012  |  Updated 11:11 AM PDT
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Olympic Focus: Sarah Hammer

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LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 04: (L-R) Lauren Tamayo, Dotsie Bausch, Jennie Reed and Sarah Hammer of the United States receive their Silver medal during the medal ceremony for the Women's Team Pursuit Track Cycling on Day 8 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Velodrome on August 4, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)

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Olympic Focus: Sarah Hammer

Olympic athlete Sarah Hammer will cycle her way to the London Games in July.
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The U.S. women's pursuit track cycling team secured a silver medal on Saturday, losing gold by 5 seconds to the British team -- which shattered the world record.

The U.S. team of Sarah Hammer, Dotsie Bausch and Lauren Tamayo finished in 3:19.727 for silver, while Canada put together its best ride of the Olympics to earn the bronze.

Hammer trains in San Diego's North County in Temecula, where she is coached by her husband.
The British team finished in 3 minutes, 14.051 seconds to make the record they set earlier in the day -- 3:14.682 -- laughable.

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Earlier in the day, Hammer and her teammates finished first in the team pursuit, winning by one-hundredths of a second to Australia during the qualifying round. Australia had won the silver medal in this year's world championship.

The U.S. team got off to a slow start during its first race on Saturday, falling nearly two seconds off the pace. But urged on by endurance coach Benjamin Sharp on the track apron, Hammer went to the front and pounded away for a full two laps, drawing the Americans back into the race.

They pulled ahead of Australia with one lap remaining, and charged across the finish line to post a time of 3:16.853 and qualify for the finals.

Their come-from-behind performance sent a buzz through the sweltering velodrome, which was packed to the rafters for the third consecutive day.

Despite swapping out a rider for fresh legs, the U.S. team never truly had a chance against the queens of the pine wood. Britain set a withering pace early in the final, and only got faster with each 1,000-meter split, the trio ripping across the finish line as a group.

But the U.S. women's team pursuit team fell to Britain in the final round. Hammer helped to secure a silver for the team, which finished 5 seconds behind the world-record breakers.

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