It was a night for reviving old rivalries and burying past failures. The Sydney Games' first session of track cycling was tipped as a tussle for gold between France and Australia: Arnaud Tournant and Shane Kelly in the men's 1-km time trial; Felicia Ballanger and Michelle Ferris in the women's 500-meter time trial. For Kelly the crowd wanted more than Olympic glory; after his tragically brief showing at Atlanta, where his foot slipped from the pedal, they wanted to cheer him to gold. After being placed on the track with his shoes already attached to the pedals, Kelly started smoothly, but came home to a bronze medal in a time of 1 minutes 2.818 seconds. "I'm just happy to be back on the podium," he said.
The night's big upset was the absence of Tournant from that podium. Tournant had broken Kelly's world record in June with a time of 1:00.148, but on Sept. 16 was almost 3 seconds slower. The silver went to German Stefan Nimke and the gold to Britain's Jason Queally, who set an Olympic record (1:01.609). Queally admitted he had thought himself an outside chance for third: "If I can win a gold medal, I think there's hope for many, many others."
There was no such upset in the women's 500-meter time trial. Ballanger, the event's five-time world champion, held Ferris to silver in the sprint at Atlanta and repeated the feat in the 500 meters at Sydney. Ferris was elated with her 34.696 seconds, but then had to watch as the French superstar, her face contorted with exertion, snatched the lead and gold by just over half a second.