Viviani, though, refused to lay blame at the feat of the Manxman for the crash.

“No – it’s not his fault,” the Italian, who rides for British team Team Sky, said. “The Korean guy was halfway on his wheel to the right, normally you stay on the wheel. Cav was in the front and changed direction so it’s all normal. It’s a normal crash on the track.

“My adrenaline went up so I was really ready,” he said. “I saw the screen, I saw I was the leader of the omnium and I couldn’t think. When I was in the second to last sprint my coach said to me, ‘One point, one point and you’re the Olympic champion’. I really enjoyed the last 10 laps.”

Viviani came into the 40 kilometer points race – the finale to the omnium competition – as the leader and looked in good form throughout, picking up 29 points during today’s event.

Cavendish managed three more but it was not enough to overhaul his rival.