Britain reassert cycling prowess

Hosts have five gold on wheels

Magic wheels? Superhero skin suits? Try plain old British track cycling culture.
With five golds in the bag at the London Games, Britain's track riders have humiliated their rivals and left them lost for an explanation.

France came into the Olym­pics as favou­r­ites for the me­n's team sprint and triple world champion Gregory Bauge set to dominate the individual sprint.

They had to settle for silver behind Britain. Bauge even asked Jason Kenny how he prepared for the Games after being comprehensively beaten by the Bolton rider in Monday's final.

The French suggested Britain had a technical advantage, saying the hosts were hiding their wheels after races.

Dan Hunt, Britain's team pursuit coach, told Reuters their cycling success was down to planning, hard work and investment.

“I think that track cycling came to prominence when lottery funding came on board (in 1997),” he said.

“They saw it as an avenue down which medals could be won and as a result of that the support that we have had has grown and grown. It wasn't until Beijing that we started to see crowds like this in British velodromes.”

“We are a full time, centrally based programme in Manchester. If we are in Manchester we are in Manchester for camps, otherwise we train in Mallorca or we are racing round the World Cup.”

Nothing is left to chance, however.  After Athens, the riders' skin suits were destroyed so the opposition could not copy them. British riders do not wear the same suit in the world championships and in the Olympics.

French riders sometimes struggle with their material.  “They (the Brits) always have innovative stuff. We get them afterwards. Track cycling is much more developed than in France,” sprinter Kevin Sireau told reporters.

“We sometimes struggle to receive our material on time. The new bike (we have) is great but we did not get it soon (enough), we had to adapt very quickly.”

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