Newton does a Radcliffe and mystifies British team

In track cycling terms, the men's points final race is something of a marathon. Yet no one could have anticipated that the British medal contender, Chris Newton, would replicate Paula Radcliffe at the Velodrome yesterday.

In track cycling terms, the men's points final race is something of a marathon. Yet no one could have anticipated that the British medal contender, Chris Newton, would replicate Paula Radcliffe at the Velodrome yesterday. The 31-year-old from Middlesbrough, the 2002 world champion in this event, exited the race with only 90 of the 160 laps completed. He was so far adrift at the time, 50 points behind the leaders, his position was hopeless.

It was a departure which mystified British team officials, who have overseen conspicuous success, notably from the gold medallists Bradley Wiggins and Chris Hoy, during the past week and were optimistic of a medal at least, and possibly even a gold here. The Great Britain performance director, David Brailsford, looking bemused by what had befallen Newton, said: "This was a guy who rode 3.59 [over one kilometre] the other night to break the British record. As people within track cycling will know that is monstrously fast."

Having pulled up in the yesterday's race won by the Russian Mikhail Ignatyev, Newton dismounted, grabbed a spare machine and cycled straight out of the Velodrome: apparently into the Athens sunset. When he eventually returned, Newton conceded: "I didn't want to finish last or 10th. I came here to win a medal. The top half of me was fine. The bottom half wouldn't work. It went from bad to horrendous. Giving up was one of the easiest things I've done."

However, yesterday's events should not detract from a splendid Olympics for the Great Britain team, who already boast two golds and a silver and have potentially more cause for celebration this afternoon when the Belgium-born, France-based, but very British Wiggins is poised for a second gold in the men's madison final (in which he pairs up with Rob Hayles), a 50-kilometre event. Wiggins has already won gold in the men's individual pursuit and a silver in the team equivalent, and another medal here today could mean that the 24-year-old transcends the confines of his own sport, as Chris Boardman did - although the Edinburgh-based Hoy may have something to say about that.

"Bradley's a very focused and driven individual as most Olympic champions are," Brailsford said. "He's dreamt of this for 12 years, and has worked to make that dream a reality."

He added: "Bradley's young. He's got a lot of personality and character. He could become a superstar. Chris Hoy's the same. What Chris did the other night [winning the one-kilometre event] is one of the best Olympic performances I've ever witnessed."

Despite the disappointment of Nicole Cooke's road race events, Brailsford believes that there may be further success to be garnered in Saturday's mountain bike cross-country, with a young rider named Liam Killeen representing Great Britain

"In the last Olympiad we've been given £6.7m by the Lottery to achieve Olympic success," Brailsford reflected. "That is the clear focus and goal. While success here has obviously been about the talent of the riders, our task has also been to create the best support staff in cycling terms in the world. I think we're getting there, to be honest." Few would disagree.

News
newsVideo targets undecided voters
Arts and Entertainment
Singer Pixie Lott will take part in Strictly Come Dancing 2014, the BBC has confirmed
tv
Life and Style
Cooked up: reducing dietary animal fat might not be as healthy as government advice has led millions of people to believe
healthA look at how governments started advising incorrectly on diets
News
Evan Spiegel, the founder of Snapchat, dropped out of Stanford University just before graduation to develop his app
techAnd yes, it is quite a lot
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

Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?
Rachael Lander interview: From strung out to playing strings

From strung out to playing strings

Award-winning cellist Rachael Lander’s career was almost destroyed by the alcohol she drank to fight stage fright. Now she’s playing with Elbow and Ellie Goulding
The science of saturated fat: A big fat surprise about nutrition?

A big fat surprise about nutrition?

The science linking saturated fats to heart disease and other health issues has never been sound. Nina Teicholz looks at how governments started advising incorrectly on diets
Emmys 2014 review: Can they genuinely compete with the Oscars

Can they genuinely compete with the Oscars?

The recent Emmy Awards are certainly glamorous, but they can't beat their movie cousins
On the road to nowhere: A Routemaster trip to remember

On the road to nowhere

A Routemaster trip to remember
Hotel India: Mumbai's Taj Mahal Palace leaves its darker days behind

Hotel India

Mumbai's Taj Mahal Palace leaves its darker days behind
10 best pencil cases

Back to school: 10 best pencil cases

Whether it’s their first day at school, uni or a new project, treat the student in your life to some smart stationery
Arsenal vs Besiktas Champions League qualifier: Gunners know battle with Turks is a season-defining fixture

Arsenal know battle with Besiktas is a season-defining fixture

Arsene Wenger admits his below-strength side will have to improve on last week’s show to pass tough test
Pete Jenson: Athletic Bilbao’s locals-only transfer policy shows success does not need to be bought

Pete Jenson: A Different League

Athletic Bilbao’s locals-only transfer policy shows success does not need to be bought
This guitar riff has been voted greatest of all time

The Greatest Guitar Riff of all time

Whole Lotta Votes from Radio 2 listeners
Britain’s superstar ballerina

Britain’s superstar ballerina

Alicia Markova danced... every night of the week and twice on Saturdays
Berlin's Furrie invasion

Berlin's Furrie invasion

2000 fans attended Eurofeurence
‘It was a tidal wave of terror’

‘It was a tidal wave of terror’

Driven to the edge by postpartum psychosis