Hoy hits out at limit on events for riders


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The Independent Online

Sir Chris Hoy hit out at cycling's world governing body yesterday after he was denied the chance to compete for three gold medals at the London Olympics.

The 36-year-old capped a remarkable Olympic career on Tuesday with his British record sixth gold in a dramatic keirin race. It was Hoy's second gold of a hugely successful Olympics for Britain's track cyclists as they won seven of the 10 events in the Velodrome.

However, Hoy had been denied a chance to defend the men's sprint title he won in Beijing because the sport's ruling body, the UCI, had decreed countries could have only one entrant in each event. Britain's place in the sprint went to the eventual winner, Jason Kenny.

The rule only applied to cycling – in athletics, for example, Jamaica's Usain Bolt ran against his countryman Yohan Blake.

Hoy said: "We knew there was only one rider per nation. It was disappointing not just for us but also for the other nations and for the fans.

"I think they missed out on a number of top-class competitors in a number of the events.

"Can you imagine a 100m final with only one Jamaican or American runner? Anyway, it happened and we dealt with it and I think we dealt with it well."

Further success on the road in London, with Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins winning the time trial, means Team GB's cyclists have never been more dominant.

"It's immensely satisfying," Hoy said. "It didn't really work out for the UCI in their attempt to manipulate the medal table.

"To have the seven gold medals on the track, and Bradley's, and the potentially more success with the BMXers and mountain bikers, it has been fantastic."