Sport on TV: Triple-jumper can't help men come in from cold in Minsk

It is not as if the wheels have come off, it's more a cycle of death and rebirth. As Jonathan Edwards introduced "the next chapter" for Britain's cyclists at the World Track Championships (BBC2, from Wednesday) he described the footage of the golden daze of last summer as "something to make you smile and cry at the same time". The former triple-jumper wasn't referring to his own presenting style; the tears could be from all the emotion, or from mourning the passing of those halcyon days.

Or maybe not. British Cycling had, after all, emulated the highs of Beijing 2008. Now Kian Emadi has been saddled with the burden of being the next Chris Hoy in the 1km time-trial and the team sprint. The "Kilo" was the first final we saw from Minsk, but he came fourth. What, not a medal of any kind? Middle England, a bit tetchy after squeezing into their new, garish Lycra, must have been outraged.

"There's been speculation, talk of you stepping into the big shoes of Chris Hoy," Jill Douglas said to him. "He's not just another rider, he's a role model and a pioneer of the sport," Emadi responded. "So I'll see what I can do. Give me time." All eminently sensible, as you might expect from one of our pedallers, and he does have three and a half years of the "Olympic cycle" to run until the nation's attention returns.

There was less eloquence in the studio, and not just from Edwards, whose stumbling delivery and stuttering flirtation with Victoria Pendleton were not unlike one of his triple jumps. Queen Vic is one reason for the public to keep turning on but she and Craig MacLean were almost speechless in trying to describe the failure of the men's sprint team to get beyond the qualifying stage. They are just not used to putting such turns of events into words, and even the team refused to be interviewed.

It was an Irishman who set the standard for the menfolk in the end, Martyn Irvine winning Ireland's first track medals for 116 years when he took silver in the individual pursuit, then a heroic gold in the 15km scratch race.

But Team GB won't be going green with envy just yet. Luckily the British women were on hand to deliver a much-needed gold medal in their team pursuit. As Douglas pointed out, 10 years ago there were only two girls in the track team (Pendleton was one of them) and now the likes of Elinor Barker are coming through on the fast track after only two months in the senior team.

Pendleton observed that Barker was "overwhelmed" as she put on her rainbow jersey. "I was welling up myself there," she added, even though there wasn't a ballroom dancer in sight. "She has a rainbow bright future." With pots of gold at the other end, of course.

It's not just on the track that the wheel is having to be reinvented. We also said goodbye to the Beeb's cycling commentator since the 1984 Games in Los Angeles. "The irrepressible Hugh Porter moves on to pastures new," noted Edwards – the Brummie former pursuit champ seems to have thrown in his lot with British Swimming, for some reason. "He's one of the great voices."

At least the man who came up with a gem such as "Chris Hoy! The real McCoy!" admits that he has now run out of superlatives, so perhaps it is better if he does the swimmers instead.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Ashdown Group: Web Developer - ASP.NET, C#, MVC - London

£45000 - £55000 per annum + Excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Web Developer -...

Ashdown Group: .NET Developer : ASP.NET , C# , MVC , web development

£40000 - £50000 per annum + Excellent benefits - see advert: Ashdown Group: .N...

Guru Careers: 3D Package Designer / 3D Designer

£25 - 30K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an exceptional 3D Package Designer / 3...

Guru Careers: Interior Designer

£Competitive: Guru Careers: We are seeking a strong Middleweight / Senior Inte...

Day In a Page

The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss