Cycling: Crash threatens Hoy title bid

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The Independent Online

Chris Hoy was able to walk without crutches after getting off the plane from Copenhagen yesterday but the proximity of the World Championships mean there are concerns about his chances of competing at full strength next month.

The four-time Olympic gold medallist returned home to Manchester yesterday morning, nursing scabs, bruises and swollen joints after crashing at over 40mph in the keirin final of the last World Cup event of the season.

The 32-year-old, who had won gold in the team sprint the previous night, was taken to hospital in the Danish capital Saturday evening following the incident which smashed his custom-made carbon fibre bike into pieces.

X-rays found no broken bones and he was given crutches for support although he was later able to discard them.

A spokesperson for British Cycling said today: "He's still feeling pretty sore but not too stiff which is a good sign."

There are less than six weeks to go before Hoy has to defend his two world titles and, as he has only returned to full training since the new year, there are fears he will struggle to get close to full fitness for the championships in Poznan.

Hoy was to appear in the Revolution event at the Manchester Velodrome on Saturday, but he is now understood to be extremely unlikely to compete. The keirin, which has its roots in Japan, sees riders jostle for position behind a moped before racing for the line and regularly offers as many spills as thrills.

A late convert to the event, Hoy had avoided crashing and won all but one of the races he has entered since 2006. However, he fell after becoming boxed in by two Frenchmen – Grégory Baugé and Kévin Sireau. Bauge moved off his line, clipping Hoy's wheel and also bringing down his fellow Scot Ross Edgar. Hoy said: "These things happen and it was a racing incident. It is a miracle I have had around 30 races without a crash since I started riding the keirin in 2006."