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Olympics 2012: Team GB cyclists accused by French of cheating by using magic wheels

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Team GB stormed to yet another cycling gold yesterday as the forlorn French said the British riders are hiding their “magic wheels” after the races.

Jason Kenny, 24, powered to victory over Frenchman Gregory Bauge in the men’s sprint in front of 6,000 baying fans.

It was Britain’s fifth track cycling gold out of seven events. There are hopes of three more today with Sir Chris Hoy, Victoria Pendleton and Laura Trott all expected to win medals.

But yesterday the French team’s dejected director, Isabelle Gautheron, complained that the British stars are using “magic wheels”.

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

“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.”

British cyclist Jason Kenny powered to victory over Frenchman Gregory Bauge in the men’s sprint in front of 6,000 baying fans

British cyclist Jason Kenny powered to victory over Frenchman Gregory Bauge in the men’s sprint in front of 6,000 baying fans

Last night Britain’s bemused cycling performance director Dave Brailsford said: “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.”

Last week French President Francois Hollande taunted Britain for its lack of early gold medal success. But Team GB is now well clear of France in the medals table.

Bolton-born Jason Kenny was picked ahead of Olympic legend Sir Chris Hoy, but emphatically beat seven-time world champion Gregory Bauge, the favorite for the title, to take the gold.

It was Jason Kenny’s second of the Games and adds to the one he won in Beijing. He is already being tipped for more medals at Rio in 2016.

“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,” Jason 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.”

Chris Hoy beat Jason Kenny in the 2008 final but after a rule change only one of them could represent Britain in London.

Within moments of Jason Kenny’s victory, Chris Hoy tweeted: “That was PHENOMENAL by Jason Kenny. So happy and proud of him, well deserved mate.”

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  • While their wheels are certainly top-notch I do not believe that there is anything fishy or “magic” about them.