Farce at the nationals

You’d think that giving out the medals would be the easy bit. Not on the evidence of last weekend’s road national championships you wouldn’t, when British Cycling president Brian Cookson clashed with the chief commissaire over who should be given what.

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The squabbling started over Lizzie Armitstead when she finished second in Saturday’s women’s championship. Silver medal? Certainly not. There are rules about this sort of thing. She’s an under-23, so she gets a gold medal for that instead and nothing for the senior race.

Confused? The bike fans in Abergavenny certainly were when Armitstead was missing from the podium but then Cookson sprang into action to retrospectively correct the actions of Colin Clews, who being chief commissaire, had mistakenly thought he was in charge.

Clews rallied the backing of the team managers in advance of Sunday’s men’s race to support him should another youngster sneak into the medals. Peter Kennaugh did just that, he was third, but Cookson had the measure of Clews and was straight up on the podium hanging a bronze medal around the neck of the under-23 national champion before you could say rulebook.

So rules are rules, unless you decide to change them. In this case it was a damn silly rule that shouldn’t have existed in the first place, so there’s no complaints from me.