Cycling: Chris Hoy's Team GB take home gold in sprint finals


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The Independent Online

The Olympic velodrome exploded with noise as Sir Chris Hoy took another gold medal tonight.

The Olympic champion rested his head on his handlebars as he was mobbed following his victory in the Men's Team Sprint with Jason Kenny and Philip Hindes.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Harry, and David Cameron were among the ecstatic spectators who produced deafening cheers as Team GB beat France.

Sir Chris, who also won the team sprint in Beijing with Kenny, took his Olympic gold medal tally to five tonight.

The moment went some way towards lifting the spirits of fans who had been left devastated after Victoria Pendleton, who is set to retire after the Games, and Jess Varnish were relegated from the final in the corresponding women's event because of an early changeover.

The decision was greeted by boos and jeers in the stadium, but Pendleton later said they had been "too eager", adding: "Now and again rubbish things happen."

William, Kate, Harry and Mr Cameron sat with British Olympic Association chief executive Andy Hunt as Sir Chris and his team-mates set a new world record with a time of 42.6 seconds.

The Prime Minister will be glad that his rapidly-growing reputation as a jinx for Team GB was broken tonight.

Sir Chris looked visibly emotional as he was draped in a Union flag, before he and team-mates celebrated to rapturous applause.

The five-time Olympic champion was cheered as he performed a victory lap, with upstanding fans marking the occasion with a slow hand-clap.

Britons who were earlier gutted to have seen Team GB's women put out of the final, were jubilant at the victory.

Jennifer Sudds, wearing a Union Jack hat and clutching flags, managed to get tickets for the race despite failing in earlier ballots.

Mrs Sudds, 53, from Watford, Herts, watched with husband Ken and 13-year-old son Jack.

"I've never even been in a velodrome before, so it was absolutely incredible, just the noise, the atmosphere," she said.

"I was so disappointed for the ladies, we didn't really know what was going on, then we suddenly realised.

"This was amazing though, every time anybody British goes past the noise just followed.

"We're so amazed we were here. We went in the first ballot and didn't get any tickets, then the second and didn't get any, then finally in the third we could only choose one event and get three tickets so my husband fortunately picked cycling."

Jack added: "It's amazing. I've got a headache from the noise, but it's worth it."

Andy Wiles, 39, from Esher, Surrey, watched it with nine-year-old son James.

"That was incredible," he said. "What an amazing atmosphere, all that patriotic vigour.

"It goes some way to making up for earlier."