Cyclists take secret of suits to shredder

Victorious Olympians destroy their outfits to ensure rivals cannot steal the technology for 2012

The aerodynamic "skin suits" worn by Britain's cycling heroes at the Beijing Olympics have been destroyed to stop rival teams getting their hands on the technology behind them.

The decision was taken to ensure that information about the suits remained top secret, meaning that none of the cyclists, who won eight of Team GB's 19 gold medals at the Olympics, could keep them as souvenirs. Such attention to detail has helped make Britain's cycle squad the envy of the world.

British Cycling's performance director, David Brailsford, said: "Our skin suits were sent out to Japan to be assembled, so that the person who put them together there did not know where they were from and there was no link. The suits themselves were created by British Cycling, and Adidas put the labels on. We then got them back and they have been shredded because we believe that the technology will hold well for 2012."

Mr Brailsford admits that shredding the suits was one of the team's less barmy ideas. They also mulled over a plan to pre-empt one of the most common injuries in cycling – a broken collar bone – by deliberately breaking the collarbones of one of their top riders.

Mr Brailsford said: "Ed Clancy [who won gold in the Olympic team pursuit] said he would not mind having his two collar bones broken.

"But then, thankfully, someone said, 'What on earth are you doing?' and the madness stopped."

A special BMX track, near the Manchester Velodrome, was built for medal hopeful Shanaze Reade to practise on.

But Mr Brailsford recalled: "When it was left at night all the local kids were there with their boards and using it. It was a challenge to keep them off it."

Many of Britain's Beijing Olympic champions, including Sir Chris Hoy, Jamie Staff, Jason Kenny, Ed Clancy and Victoria Pendleton, will be back in the saddle for the final round of the UCI Track Cycling World Cup in Copenhagen from 13 to 15 February.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones