Cycling: Wallace beaten in final

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The Independent Online
THE fairy-tale bike that brought Chris Boardman an Olympic title and two world records did not grant a wish for British professional Shaun Wallace in the final of the world 5,000 metres pursuit championship here.

His defeat by the American Mike McCarthy by almost two seconds left Wallace with his second silver in as many years, and ended the myth that was surrounding the Lotus monocoque machine.

After Boardman's slaughtering run in the Olympic 4,000m pursuit followed by a world five kilometre record, and yesterday confirmation of his 4min 24.496sec in Barcelona as a world 4,000m record, the ill-advised decided that the bike was supreme, not the man.

Last night McCarthy, who had earlier ousted the defending champion, Francis Moreau of France, admitted the Boardman-Lotus performance had him worried. 'In the end, however, the man is the engine, and I put together a pretty good ride,' McCarthy said after clocking 5:45.076, the fastest of the championship.

He did Boardman a favour because the Merseysider was still seeking to prove that he won the gold, not the machine.

Wallace admitted that there was some pressure earlier because of the bike's reputation. 'I was pretty calm for the final. It was as good a ride as any I had done. I did not make any mistakes, but Mike just pulled out a great ride,' Wallace said.