…it’s a good old get out clause.
Philip Hindes. Did he or didn’t he pull a fast one in that qualifying round? Well we’ll never know now will we and the officials said the results stand and they were quick enough to kick out the Brits and gold winners earlier in the day.
Hard to pick between which is best between Bradley Wiggins’ 50 minutes round Hampton Court or Philip Hindes, Jason Kenny and Sir Chris Hoy’s 42 second three laps of the 250 metre velodrome track.
It was a pretty damn good night in the velodrome and this topped it off in such style, winning gold, Hindes fist, Kenny’s second and Hoy’s fifth – moving him up alongside Sir Steve Redgrave in the British gold standings and one behind Wiggins’ medal total – as they broke the world record they’d set not long before in round one.
And it all started so badly in qualifying as Hindes struggled with his bike from the start and partway through the first bend went to ground. With Kenny and Hoy’s arms raised they got the restart they needed. Hindes explanation of what happened in an interview after then became the centre of attention as he seemed to admit to pulling a fast one as Hoy looked a little surprised.
Little matter the officials allowed the restart and they were on it from the off setting the fastest time in qualifying with a new Olympic record. Round one is pretty much a semi-final, fastest two compete for gold. No one was faster than the British trio, no one has ever been faster as the world record went. Only other sub 43 second team in the round was France. Two favourites for the gold in the final.
But only one winner. The German born Hindes is the latest of a line of individuals they’ve tried in the number one spot and there was talk of the new kid, who just joined the GB set-up two years ago, when he started to learn English. There was much talk of what opening lap time he could manage. Talk of 17.5, maybe .4 or best of all .3. He put in a 17.2 To lead Kenny in another great lap and finish off with Hoy becoming the first anchor man to ride a sub 13 seconds last lap to break the world record yet again.
The French weren’t even in the picture when Hoy crossed the line.
It lifted the mood after the place was put in a bit of a subdued state after Victoria Pendleton and Jessica Varnish were relegated in their round one of the team sprint. It was the right call, Pendleton was ahead of Varnish when she crossed the line marking the lap. A shame because they were guaranteed at least a silver and the round earlier had broken the world record, so looked really good. Though that record was broken immediately after by the Chinese who then broke that record in the round 1. The Chinese themselves fell foul of an incorrect changeover in the final handing the title to the Germans almost by default.
The other highlight of the night was the men’s team pursuit qualifier.Ed Clancy, Stephen Burke, Geraint Thomas and Peter Kennaugh looked brilliant as they also broke the world record. Only qualifying and the Aussies imploded to finish second some three seconds back but GB look good.
But Sir Chris Hoy, in tears, on the podium picking up yet another gold medal was a fitting end to the opening day of the track cycling.