Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.

France complain of favouritism towards Team GB at the velodrome


The French cycling team complained today that reserve rider Francois Pervis was not allowed to train on the velodrome track, amid a feeling among rivals that hosts Britain were being favoured.

"Because he is a reserve rider for the sprint, he is not allowed to train on the track since his event is over," French technical director Isabelle Gautheron told Reuters.

"He was not allowed on the track by LOCOG (London organising committee). It's just ridiculous, there are only five riders on the track. Francois could have helped as a sparring partner for his team mates."

LOCOG officials said regulations stated that since the individual sprint event had already started, Pervis was not considered as a reserve rider anymore and could not be allowed to be on the track during what they called a "warm-up session".

Gautheron also said Britain, the world's best track cycling outfit, were the team benefiting from more space than any other in the paddock inside the track.

"Britain's box is about three times the size of the others," she said.

"It's OK for us because we don't have pursuit teams so we don't need too much space but Australia or New Zealand do have pursuit teams."