La Jalousie? French raise questions over Sir Chris Hoy and fellow Team GB cyclists hiding 'magic wheels'

 

The French cycling team have cast a jealous eye towards their British counterparts’ “magic wheels” after Team GB won its fifth track cycling gold medal in seven events at the London 2012 Olympic Games earlier today.

Jason Kenny – dubbed King Kenny – beat world champion Grégory Baugé in the men’s sprint yesterday.

But after the race, Isabelle Gautheron the French team director said she was perplexed by Britain’s dominance and said the team hides the wheels used on the track immediately after races.

“We are asking a lot of questions: how have they gained so many tenths of seconds?” she said.

She added: “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.

“We are looking a lot at the kit they use. They hide their wheels a lot. The ones for the bikes they race on are put in wheel covers at the finish.”

Britain’s cycling performance director Dave Brailsford defended his team, saying: “It’s interesting that people are starting to ask questions.

“It’s no different from when we raced the last three-and-a-half weeks at the Tour de France.

“It’s the same method, the same philosophy and essentially fantastic coaching which is the only secret weapon we possess.

“As far as the Olympic Games go, only two weeks are important – one week in Beijing, one week here. And we’ve peaked for both.”

The French team’s comments came after Britain won a huge medal haul, having initially fallen behind France. That prompted French President François Hollande to taunt the British, saying they rolled out the red carpet for their neighbours.

Now, however, Team GB’s cyclists alone have enough medals to place them joint eighth on the medal table, with five on the track and one on the road.

Kenny was picked ahead of Beijing hero Sir Chris Hoy for the sprint event and he did not disappoint, despite admitting the decision put him under pressure.

He said: “It’s amazing. I hadn’t even thought about it until we got on to that last ride and it suddenly dawned on me.

“The battle I had just to get here with Chris [Hoy], I thought I’d better not mess this one up. Now I am really pleased to deliver for the team.”

Kenny himself won gold in Beijing as part of the team event but Hoy’s exploits made him one of the faces of British cycling.

And Kenny said: “It dawned on me that if Chris had been in my shoes there was no way he would have lost. It is a shame that we could not have two of us in here.

“He has that real killer instinct which is why he has so many medals.

“And my final ride was not that amazing if I am honest. I just let the crowd carry me home.”

After Kenny pulled away from Baugé to take gold, Hoy – who is hopeful of adding to Team GB’s track cycling medals, along with colleagues Victoria Pendleton and Laura Trott – tweeted: Within moments of Kenny’s victory, Hoy tweeted: “That was PHENOMENAL by Jason Kenny. So happy and proud of him, well deserved mate.”

Suggested Topics
Voices
There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm today
News
File: James Woods attends the 52nd New York Film Festival at Walter Reade Theater on September 27, 2014
peopleActor was tweeting in wake of NYPD police shooting
Sport
Martin Skrtel heads in the dramatic equaliser
SPORTLiverpool vs Arsenal match report: Bandaged Martin Skrtel heads home in the 97th-minute
News
Billie Whitelaw was best known for her close collaboration with playwright Samuel Beckett, here performing in a Beckett Trilogy at The Riverside Studios, Hammersmith
people'Omen' star was best known for stage work with Samuel Beckett
PROMOTED VIDEO
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
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'