Cycling: Boardman quick to prove chairman of the boards: Robin Nicholl reports from Sheffield on the impact a golden moment has had on the sport of cycling

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The Independent Online
CHRIS BOARDMAN'S golden touch gave British cycling a pounds 2m boost before he had won the nation's first Olympic cycling gold in 72 years. As he prepared for another golden moment, his third British 4,000 metres pursuit title victory here yesterday, the Hoylake rider was buoyed by the change his Barcelona success had brought.

'We got another pounds 2m for the Manchester velodrome out of it,' Boardman said. 'The Manchester bid committee realised that it was worth putting the money into the cycling once I was getting results. They were trying to make the velodrome pay by putting a basketball court in the track centre. Now that has been shelved. Britain has needed an indoor track for a long time.'

That strengthened his resolve to stay amateur. 'I can do more for my sport as an amateur. You have to want to be a professional from the start, but I like living at home. I want to seek Olympic gold again. It is a chance to keep the sport in the public eye.

'I don't want to chase money all the time. I believe more in the quality of life. As long as my family are comfortable, I am happy, because they have made sacrifices for me.'

Boardman is wary of offers, and there have been quite a few. 'I could do with stopping racing now because this is when the euphoria is strongest over the next few weeks, but my form is really good.'

That is why he was at Leicester to defend his British title by beating Bryan Steel by 10 seconds, and also clipped 1.5 seconds from his championship best riding a conventional bike. The Lotus superbike that made Barcelona gasp appears at Leicester on Saturday when Boardman makes an attempt at the world 5,000m record.

In Leeds, the Italian, Massimo Ghirotto, won the Wincanton Classic, the 236-kilometre seventh round of the World Cup, yesterday. Ghirotto was a late entry for his team-mate, Ireland's Stephen Roche, who was still feeling dizzy, the after-effects of his crash a week ago in Spain. Ghirotto beat Laurent Jalabert, winner of the Tour de France points jersey, by more than a minute.

Results, Sport in Short, page 25

(Photograph omitted)

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