Cycling: Boardman takes pride: McGregor breaks British 3,000m record

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The Independent Online
A MANCHESTER street edging towards dereliction led to British cycling's new pounds 9m Mecca, and nearly 3,500 paid homage to heroes past and present when the country's first indoor velodrome opened with an international track meeting.

Late-comers missed the multi- titled Chris Boardman and the unveiling of the James Butler statue to the five-times world champion, Reg Harris, whose talent packed them in in the 1950s.

Boardman, as forthright as Harris, warned that such a track would not do 'magical things'. It needed marketing by professionals. 'I am concerned. I am not convinced that British cycling has the expertise in-house,' he said.

Boardman, at half-power because of a viral infection, beat Francis Moreau in a repeat of their world 4,000 metres pursuit final in August. It was not until the last three of the 16 laps that he edged in front. 'I knew it would be a fight, and I rode the last six laps on pride,' Boardman said.

But the surprise of the night was Yvonne McGregor, of Bradford, who broke the British 3,000m record in losing to the world champion Marion Clignet. 'I am amazed - it's only her third time on a track,' Clignet said. 'She can go a lot faster, and take five seconds off her record.'

Results, Sporting Digest, page 32