Hoy may miss cycling sprint in London
The greatest sprint cyclist the world has seen is no longer clearly the best in Britain.
Chris Hoy could miss the opportunity to defend his individual sprint title at his home Olympics after being beaten by teammate Jason Kenny in the semi-finals of the event at the world championships in Melbourne.
With only one rider per country per event allowed at the London Games, the four-time Olympic gold medallist will find it hard to displace Kenny from Britain’s spot in the blue-riband event.
Kenny went on to claim the silver in Melbourne on Saturday night, while Hoy took the bronze.
“I think it’s going to be tough for the selectors. I think if Jason won the gold it would have been a no brainer,” Hoy said.
“There’s been five selection events, of which I’ve won three, but this was by far the most important.
“Do you go for the one race here tonight or the five we’ve had?
“We’ll have to wait and see, whatever decision they make, I’ll be behind it 100 per cent.
“If Jason gets it, he thoroughly deserves it.”
And 24-year-old Kenny must have the edge after convincingly beating Hoy 2-0 in the best of three semi-final at Hisense Arena.
Knighted after his golden sprint treble in Beijing where he took out the team sprint, individual sprint and keirin titles, the Scot settled for silver in all three events at last year’s world championships.
He and Kenny will combine for the team sprint in London and Hoy, 36, still has a chance to compete as an individual in the keirin, in which they’ll face off again at the world titles on Sunday.
The pair won gold and silver at the Beijing Olympics and silver and bronze in Melbourne on Saturday, but only one will be competing in the event in London.
Under the one-rider rule, introduced for this year’s Olympics by cycling’s ruling body the UCI, only five of the 10 fastest men at the world titles will ride the individual sprint in London.
Three Frenchmen, two Germans, two Australians, two Britons and one New Zealander all went under 10 seconds in the quickest qualifying sprint round seen, but half of them won’t be able to compete in London.
In their place will be much slower riders, proving that, in the team sprint at least, these world championships in Melbourne will be of a much higher standard than the London Olympics.