London 2012: Amid accusations of 'magic wheels', we reveal the real secret of Team GB's track cycling success - Cycling - Olympics - The Independent

London 2012: Amid accusations of 'magic wheels', we reveal the real secret of Team GB's track cycling success

Britain's cycling success has been marred by French hints of cheating. They're peddling lies says Tom Peck, who explains the secret of our success

The French cycling team has all but accused the victorious British of cheating, saying they are suspicious about the kit and wheels being used.

Click HERE to view graphic

Cycling performance director Isabelle Gautheron said she had "a lot of questions" about Team GB, and suggested they were using "magic wheels", quickly hidden away after every race. "Have they found a new training process based on certain energy pathways? I am not talking about any illicit product, because anti-doping tests are so strong. But we are looking a lot at the kit they use. They hide their wheels. The ones for the bikes they race on are put in wheel covers at the finish. Do they really have the wheels of Mavic, the official supplier? We know they work with McLaren," she ranted.

But yesterday Dave Brailsford, Team GB's coach – who may have sparked the row with his jokey comment to France's L'Equipe sports newspaper that they were using "special round wheels" – said the secret to success was "peaking at the right time, talented athletes, commitment and... brilliant coaching". At the heart was a focus on small margins, he said.

"We start by analysing the demands of the event we want to win. We then prioritise. Then we look at... the gap between where we are and where we want to be and how we can get there.

"If you break down everything that you need and improve every little aspect by one per cent then that can make a difference. Some things are essential – fitness, biomechanics – others are less essential but can make the difference such as posture when you sleep, using the right kind of pillow. Hygiene is extremely important because you are going to get ill a little bit less. If you put all these little things together, you are going to improve."

Cycling has also benefitted from the UK Sport funding model that gives more money to successful sports an from lottery cash.Cheating claims have been a familiar story since Team GB started to win prolifically in Beijing, Brailsford said. Sir Chris Hoy's father, Martin, said: "You've got to upset someone. It might as well be the French. They've got to look for some reason why they're underperforming."

Suggested Topics
News
John Travolta is a qualified airline captain and employed the pilot with his company, Alto
people'That was the lowest I’d ever felt'
Life and Style
healthIt isn’t greasy. It doesn’t smell. And moreover, it costs nothing
News
peopleThe report and photo dedicated to the actress’s decolletage has, unsurprisingly, provoked anger
Property
Home body: Badger stays safe indoors
property
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
The programme sees four specialists creating what they believe are three perfect couples, based on scientific matchmaking. The couples will not meet until they walk down the aisle together
tvUK wedding show jilted
Arts and Entertainment
US pop diva Jennifer Lopez sang “Happy Birthday” to Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, president of Turkmenistan
musicCorporate gigs become key source of musicians' income
Arts and Entertainment
You've been framed: Henri Matisse's colourful cut-outs at Tate Modern
artWhat makes a smash-hit art show
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
filmsDaniel Craig believed to be donning skis as 007 for first time
Sport
Mikel Arteta pictured during Borussia Dortmund vs Arsenal
champions league
Voices
Yes supporters gather outside the Usher Hall, which is hosting a Night for Scotland in Edinburgh
voicesBen Judah: Is there a third option for England and Scotland that keeps everyone happy?
Arts and Entertainment
Pulp-fiction lover: Jarvis Cocker
booksJarvis Cocker on Richard Brautigan
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Thicke and Pharell Williams in the video of the song, which has been accused of justifying rape
music...and he had 'almost no part' in writing it
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week