Cyclist Sarah Hammer wins second Rio silver medal

RIO DE JANEIRO — She earned her second silver medal of these Games and fourth of her Olympic career.

In the immediate aftermath, however, cyclist Sarah Hammer was thinking about everyone else.

“There’s nothing I can say that I wish would have gone better,” she said. “I’m very proud of myself and the team. Everybody who’s helped and put effort into this race, that was my gift to them.”

Hammer finished second Tuesday to Great Britain’s Laura Trott in the women’s omnium, an event that combines six races.

Earlier in Rio, Hammer and her American teammates took silver in the team pursuit. She earned silver in the same two events in London.

“I am so, so excited,” Hammer, 32, said. “Of course, you always say you want a medal. But when you’re talking about bunch racing absolutely anything can happen. I’m so thankful that everything went the way it did.”

Entering Tuesday, Hammer was third overall. Before the start of the finale, the points race, she was tied with Belgium’s Jolien D’Hoore for second.

In the 100-lap final round, Hammer held off the younger D’Hoore, 26, waving to the crowd as she circled the track afterward.

“That’s her specialty,” Hammer said of the Belgian. “She thrives in the pack. I knew it was going to be a big (task) to try to match her in the sprints.

“Watching her toward the end, she started fatiguing. That was definitely my plan. ‘Stick with, stick with, stick with.’ I wanted to be within striking distance and be hopeful that my endurance would be where I came out on top.”

Concerning her future, Hammer said she planned to continue racing but didn’t sound optimistic about making another Olympic appearance.

The 2020 Summer Games are scheduled for Tokyo.

“I still love racing my bike,” she said. “Am I going to go another four years? Probably not. My biggest thing is I want to share my experience with the up-and-comers. We have a bunch of them. That’s where I hope to help in the future.”