An unbelievable run of medals at the Olympic velodrome has shot Britain’s bike racers to super stardom. Just when we thought these Games couldn’t get any better, there’s six days of track action to die for.

Sir Chris Hoy’s epic victory in the keirin was one of the defining moments of the Games, not least that it crowned him Britain’s greatest ever Olympian. Of course our success was despite the efforts of our own world governing body that tried its very best to limit our success by changing the events programme and limiting participation to one rider per event. The UCI failed and unbelievably we matched the seven track golds won at Beijing. “It didn’t work out for the UCI in their attempt to manipulate the medal table,” said Hoy. “I think the aim was to try to stop one nation dominating.

“It’s a shame. In the 100 metres final if there’s only Usain Bolt from Jamaica or one American it wouldn’t be the same spectacle. It should be the best of the best, no matter where they’re from.”
This tiresome meddling robbed us of witnessing Kenny in action in the keirin and Hoy in the sprint; two more guaranteed medals.

Then there’s the small matter of scrapping the individual pursuit, it’s as bonkers as not having the 400 metres in the athletics programme. Bradley Wiggins had no problems switching to the time trial for his third gold but he shouldn’t have been denied the chance to defend his title.  

Robert Garbutt, Editor.

  • jimmy ap pysgoed

    Diolch Geoff, you are quite right, the track events were largely reduced to time trial level and made for a pretty dull spectacle. What, you have to wonder, would have been the results if the events were held at Herne Hill?

  • Ken Evans

    “It didn’t work out for the UCI
    in their attempt to manipulate the medal table,”
    said Hoy.

    Take that McQuaid !
    And the pathetic attempts to fix the judging, were so transparent !

  • Geoff Waters, Durban, South Africa

    Please stop the grumbling about the UCI limiting the number of entrants per nation and the inclusion of the omnium at the Olympics!
    Had entry ‘solely on merit’ applied from the 1960s to 1980s, Olympic track cycling events would have been the exclusive preserve of Eastern Bloc ‘shamateurs’ with British riders totally excluded. Also the ‘one per nation’ rule reduces the likelihood of ‘fixes’ and cute dodges. Remember the ‘crash’ in the 2012 mens Olympic team sprint?
    About the omnium: This was the traditional format of most British track meetings from grass tracks to internationals for most of the 20th century. The aim was simple: to find the best allround track rider. Why turn against this longstanding tradition in favour of prima donna event specialists?
    Incidentally, it was clear that the Olympic trackies soon worked out that on the London velodrome you win from being at the front in the final 200m … something never guaranteed on larger outdoor tracks.

  • Boris the Acrobat

    Absolute mewing codswallop Robert — perhaps we should only see 1-a-side football and the team pursuit can go west as well. Anyway the Team Sprint squad should be stripped of the gold as the lead rider deliberately crashed as he knew they had a poor start………where will it end

  • Samuel Gee

    I agree that only allowing one rider per event was wrong and the contrast with Jamaica in the 100m and 200m in athletics makes a good point. This was taking things too far and I believe a “stop GB” move. But there are limits to the idea that a team can have ANY number of athletes in an event selected purely on performance. If that were the case if the 100 athletes that started the Marathon at Olymics 2012 were selected on 2012 times then 47 would have been Kenyan 35 Ethiopian only 9 other countries would have been represented. The USA would have one runner. The UK none. In fact unless the field stretched out to 400 runners we wouldn’t get a runner in the field only then at 398. So whilst I agree the limit should not be so strict as to maker a mockery as it did in the velodrome, sometimes the principle of “only selected on merit” could end up with a complete farce.