Don't get me wrong, I'll never tire of hearing the national anthem at an Olympic venue, as the Union Flag begins its journey up into the heavens.

But that's five times God's Saved the Queen at the Laoshan velodrome so far and as I watched the Australian film crew trudge off disconsolately on Monday night, there was a small part of me (OK a very small part), which felt a little embarrassed.

Are we too good at cycling?

Or should we bask in the glory of it all - in the knowledge that it can't last forever.

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Denmark's team leader, Jesper Worre, was full of praise for his British counterparts, despite watching Bradley Wiggins and the crew thump his boys in the team pursuit.

But he did raise an interesting point, when I asked him if he had a problem with Britain's dominance on the track.

"No, that's what sport is all about," he told me, "But I do think it could be bad for track cycling if it gets worse than this. One or two medals each race could be bad. I think interest could fall.

"We have a World Cup in Copenhagen in two years time, and if one country is too dominant, it could decrease interest maybe."

Britain are the new Chelsea of the cycling world - with lottery cash in place of Russian roubles.

And again I stress that Worre wasn't moaning, only stating the facts, when he said: "In Denmark, we only have money to try to make success in the team pursuit. That went well, but we were still beaten by seven seconds. They are number one by far. The funding is too far ahead for almost all nations. I think nobody can match the funding."

It may not surprise you to know that Dave Brailsford, British Cycling's performance director, doesn't agree.

"It certainly doesn't get monotonous for me, I can tell you. It's a very British thing to worry are we winning too much. It doesn't fit into my vocabulary, I can tell you, and we'll keep on going. That's what I'm paid for, to win Olympic medals," he said.

And let's not lose sight of the main reason why Britain's cyclists are, in the words of Worre, "like animals on the track". Who else has got riders of the calibre of Chris Hoy and Bradley Wiggins, and the rest?

I'll be back there on Tuesday, hoping to hear that same anthem another three times, safe in the knowledge that interest in track cycling, in Britain at least, has never been higher.

James Munro is the BBC’s sports news correspondent. Our FAQs should answer any questions you have.


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  • 1. At 6:44pm on 18 Aug 2008, editorsfoot wrote:

    Thinking back to the days of before 2000 when the BBC didn't know what the velodrome was, Chris Boardman excepted, British cyclists should bask in the glory. Other countries will catch up, much as they did when other countries dominated the track, and Britain did nothing in the mens road events. We should enjoy it while we can. Listening to a radio reporter who had no understanding of the Keirin suggests the coverage won't go on forever.

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  • 2. At 6:57pm on 18 Aug 2008, rodders78 wrote:

    We should definitely bask in the glory of winning as this is what we need to maintain these winning ways and positive mentality from this sport. Other sports could learn a lot from cycling. Not only from the athletes themselves but also by the whole set up and how they have planned long in advance to reach this moment. I also believe that there should be more facilities for these athletes as they all have to go to Manchester at the moment.
    On top of this I read today that in Japan cyclists are earning millions of pounds whereas our riders, such as Chris Hoy, only gain a tiny amount from Lottery funding to keep them going - £24,000! In my mind that is totally unacceptable.

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  • 3. At 7:07pm on 18 Aug 2008, IaninBrazil wrote:

    There's no such thing as being too good. Perhaps the funding and effort could be spread around to other sports, if it's too concentrated in cycling, but I think it's brilliant the way Britain has built up this team. And I'm an Australian, by the way. Somewhat stunned, but very impressed. I promise you, we will not lose interest in chasing you for olympic gold.
    I don't mind hearing God Save the Queen, either. After all, it used to be my anthem too, and she's still my queen.

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  • 4. At 7:14pm on 18 Aug 2008, Ian Eiloart wrote:

    I shouldn't worry too much about the Aussies. They don't rate those "sitting down" sports, anyway.

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  • 5. At 7:15pm on 18 Aug 2008, levdavidovich wrote:

    I sometimes wonder if these BBC "bloggers" are paid per word. Only that could explain the existence of this blog.

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  • 6. At 7:19pm on 18 Aug 2008, tarquint wrote:

    Once so much funding becomes available as it has done via the lottery, results are going to be expected back (hence the targets from the politicians.) It really does show how difficult it was for British athletes pre-Athens to compete with the often already professional athletes from abroad.

    However, even so, cycling was a very very smart sport to target. 1. There had been Gold precedents in Boardman and Queally. 2. Its a sport that involved technology (which we are good at). 3. Britain is a densely populated country, and so suits large scale indoor facilities in the centre of the country, and efficient use of lottery type funding. 4. It is a sport that is not possible by less well off countries (where is the Kenyan cycle team). 5, and best of all, there are lots of events in cycling where athletes can double and even triple up to bolster the national medal tally.

    Britain shouldn't feel bad about this. In the past, our best sports (Rowing and Sailing) did't allow medal tallies to reflect the British talent in those sports. Had there been a 500m sprint, and a relay in rowing, Redgrave and Pinsent..would have claimed far more than 9 golds. The US and Australia (track and field and especially the disproportionate amount of golds available in swimming) have for years topped the tables in overall tallies because they targetted these.

    So what sports next? Hopefully the swimming team can build a team around Adlington now. It amazes me how poorly Britain does in Judo. I know Japan are dominant, but even so...perhaps it will take another Redgrave, to spur people on here.

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  • 7. At 7:36pm on 18 Aug 2008, santista02 wrote:

    I think it is great. Read Graham Obree's autobiography to get an idea of how cycling use to be. Manchester is fantasic as it moves away from the south of England and this is why we have all 4 Nations having success in the Veladrome.

    The issue of funding other sports won't go away of course but at the beginning of the 90s Sport was a mess in the UK. 6 of the (UK) so called National Centres where in England with 1 in Wales. The Government (it was estimated) gave back only one seventh of what it made out of sport (an estimated 7 Billion per year) and the Sports council still identified women as a minority group (51% population).

    I hope success breeds success in this case. If only for the sake that it gets kids on their bikes, or out running around. Of course the grassroots is about participation so let's see more cycle ways, more parks and more opportunities for the kids.

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  • 8. At 7:38pm on 18 Aug 2008, U6271461 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 9. At 7:48pm on 18 Aug 2008, vonstahlhein wrote:

    The Aussies trudged off disconsolately because they hadnt won gold and the Poms had caned them (for once). If the shoe had been on the other foot do you honestly believe there would have been any article written by any Aussie feeling embarassed about winning? Wake up and smell the coffee! We are the worlds best, it doesnt happen very often, so for gods sake make the most of - ring up an Aussie and ask them how they are doing in the cycling and the rowing! Wait until the end of the week on the sailing as they are doing pretty well there at the mo. Beware, block all calls next summer when we play them at cricket!

    The points race was also pretty confusing for several 5 Live reporters. Thank god for Boardman on the radio and Porter and poor Sutton (an Aussie, trying his best to be
    pleased that GB were doing so well in the velodrome!) on the TV. Good work guys, Thoroughly enjoy the informed enthusiasm you all bring.

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  • 10. At 7:56pm on 18 Aug 2008, astottie wrote:

    James I find your comments embarassing and not the success of the British cycling team. I go regularly to the velodrome with my 16 year old daughter I'm fat and 50 and she slaughters me every time but the fact that we can do this as well as it being the centre for the British excellence is evidence to me that the lottery money is being well spent. If you think the GB cyclists are being pampered think again. About 10 weeks ago (in an Olympic year) we turned up for our 12 o'clock public session on a Sunday and Wiggins and other team members had been practising. At 11:59 and 59 secs the coach shouted 'right Brad off now' and we and 13 other members of the public took their place on the track. Awesome !!
    I doubt you really believe what you have just written you're just a journalist therefore have to knock something to justify your position but i do think your comments here are really poor.
    By the way if the Aussies really think cycling is a sitting down sport that probably explains why we have stuffed them at these games.

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  • 11. At 7:58pm on 18 Aug 2008, SlinkyCabbage wrote:

    I find it somewhat bizarre that this point has been raised at all. Which other country would even let such a thought of 'winning too much' cross their minds? Certainly not the likes of Australia or the US.

    As for the funding side of things, yes it allows the cyclists to concentrate full time on their sports but I don't think it dwarfs ALL the other competitors, especially the traditional cycling countries such as Australia, France, Germany etc. and it certainly won't make the individuals rich. Some could have gone for the huge purses on offer in the Keirin racing in Japan but chose to compete for their country.

    There are quality facilities that in Britain but not enough of them. Scotland for example doesn't have an indoor velodrome and is only going to get one because of the Commonwealth Games coming to Glasgow so it's not as if the cyclists have it all so much better than those they line up against.

    Long may the success continue because Team GB certainly deserve it for the sacrifices they've made and the long hours they've put in.

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  • 12. At 8:00pm on 18 Aug 2008, SmadaTrauts wrote:

    I think it's fantastic that we've won so many medals in this sport. I have to say that I wouldn't give cycling a second look before these games, but apart from the delicious success, it's opened my eyes to a really rivetting sport.

    It's a shame that the commentators seem incapable of pronouncing keirin correctly, but otherwise they were great, nice mixture of knowledge and enthusiasm.

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  • 13. At 8:04pm on 18 Aug 2008, singinghannahj wrote:

    Calm down everyone - he's being a bit tongue in cheek (I think!) and poking fun at the whole British self-deprecation modesty thing.

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  • 14. At 8:05pm on 18 Aug 2008, taffyles wrote:

    I hear you. Must admit, when watching all the cycling successes- I thought Gosh we're hogging the lot! Just for a minute...before hugging myself with glee :). It's that old British sense of fair play and not being too greedy isn't it? and having to share our sweets out- notice how many kids aren't encouraged to do that these days? Old fashioned values, I guess nowadays- although they still have merit.

    But- YES!! Lets bask in this- we don't get it often!
    Go Britain!!!!

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  • 15. At 8:06pm on 18 Aug 2008, Simon_Brooke wrote:

    Look, lets stop fooling ourselves. The London and Edinburgh velodromes have both been sold off to developers - the London one, supposedly, to help pay for the Olympics. We have Chris Hoy because when he was developing in the sport there was a velodrome in Scotland for him to learn the ropes. Now there isn't - so where is the next Chris Hoy coming from?

    There's someone else from Scotland who should have been winning medals for us at this Olympics. Jason McIntyre should have been doing for us in the man's time trial what Emma Pooley did so brilliantly in the women's. But Jason couldn't be there - because some careless motorist killed him while he was out training this spring (and was fined a derisory £500 in punishment).

    Cycling doesn't have too much spent on it. Cycling doesn't have nearly enough spent on it. Every medium sized town has an Olympic size swimming pool. Every city has a running track. And we have one - count them, one - indoor velodrome in the whole country. In no other of our elite sports do we turn promising young athletes out onto the roads to battle it out with speeding motorists too busy with their mobile phones to pay attention to where they're going.

    And yet half of all Britain's gold medals this year have come from cycling. Half. As many as all other sports put together. And there are more to come - Victoria Pendleton, Mark Cavendish and Shanaze Reade haven't even started yet.

    So no - it isn't cricket. It isn't dull and tedious and arcane. It's epic and explosive and tactical and colourful and glorious. And we're good at it. So for heaven's sake get behind our cyclists and support them. Because if you think this is good, you ain't seen nothing yet.

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  • 16. At 8:09pm on 18 Aug 2008, OnlyHereForTheFood wrote:

    You've got a completely backward way of looking at it. Superstars are the ones who get people (especially children) interested to take it up and keep the sport going from one generation to the next.

    They don't even need to be interesting people (which I'm sure they are) - as long as the feats are impressive then fans will come to watch. Wiggins, Foy and Pembleton, etc. don't just have to be British heroes, they can be heroes for anyone interested in cycling - just like Phelps in the pool, Bolt on the track or any other superstar in their chosen sport.

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  • 17. At 8:13pm on 18 Aug 2008, Lazypete wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 18. At 8:23pm on 18 Aug 2008, skidiver wrote:

    I think that domination of a sport should in theroy motivate other nations to compete with them. What your talking about is the same priciple as Phelps in the pool, it will inspire people to act upon their success. Why so pesimistic over sport, it is after all the olympic games and its a competive sport.

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  • 19. At 8:25pm on 18 Aug 2008, Arnie_Aardvark wrote:

    Simon_Brooke we don't have Olympic sized swimming pools in every medium sized town on the contrary, Sydney, Australia has more 50m pools than the whole of the UK, towns have 25m pools. The problem is so bad in Sussex they go over to France to train!

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  • 20. At 8:26pm on 18 Aug 2008, markiechops wrote:

    Stop looking for this silver lining's cloud. There is only one problem with Team GB's domination of the track, and that is that we didn't sweep the board. In London, we have to aim to win every single gold available.

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  • 21. At 8:35pm on 18 Aug 2008, Jeannot2874 wrote:

    What are British cyclists expected to do? I accept that Kenyan, Algerian or Angolan cyclists cannot acces the same facilities as those of Manchester. But the French? The Italians? The Germans? The Dutch? The Americans? The Australians etc... I think they are extraordinary. As a Frenchman I should like to see a little bit more of the tricolores, but they are simply not in the same league. There was one Mark Cavendish in the recent tour de France who would have won 2 more stages if he had not had to retire to go and WIN in Beijing. I cannot wait to see him again next year.

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  • 22. At 8:36pm on 18 Aug 2008, SpyIII wrote:

    Are you joking?! Will people stop watching swimming cause Phelps wins? I don't think so. We should be celebrating and plan to not only keep winning, but keep improving and start winning all the other cycling events. Then move on to start winning again on the track, in the hockey, in the football (if we are allowed an olmpic team)and in every other event. We're not called GREAT Britain for nothing. Bring on 2012!!

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  • 23. At 8:37pm on 18 Aug 2008, formercyclist wrote:

    The success being enjoyed by the GB Cycling Team is well-earned. Anyone doubting this would have benefitted from seeing Kelly Holmes on BBC TV a little earlier this evening. She referred to having visited the Beijing Velodrome and being amazed at the intensity of involvement and the team spirit that she found. She praised the fact that the whole team are based at Manchester where they train together and expressed the view that other sports could learn so much from the way that the team is structured. Having watched many of the interviews and learned of the work by which promising youngsters are encouraged and coached it is also obvious to me that the skills being honed at Manchester are already being passed on to the younger generations. Rather than being unsure whether this concentration of effort and resources is well-placed we should be proud that GB has established a standard which other countries are already striving to emulate. If UK Sport is not already using cycling as a model for the future of all sports I shall be very surprised. It works because it is a holistic approach. No details are overlooked.

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  • 24. At 8:37pm on 18 Aug 2008, owzat1982 wrote:

    what a pointless blog finally Britain has something we are actually good at and something to be proud of and here we have spmeone sowing pessimism and cynicism into our boys and girls success. if we find we can produce champions in an event lets pour our resources into those events and not waste our money on our under achiving track and field 'stars'. lets start doing what china have done for this olympics find events that no one else cares about pour all our resources into them and win a sackfull of GOLDs at 2012

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  • 25. At 8:50pm on 18 Aug 2008, davidrctc wrote:

    How sad can you get?! British domination in a sport will drive down interest? Surely it's an encouragement for other nations to raise their game. A few weeks ago in the cycling press the Australians were predicting that we were going to flop. Maybe they have been too complacent - more hard work needed! I am a teacher, British Cycling's Talent team have visited our school on several occasions with their specially prepared programme. As a result David Daniell is now a world junior track cycling champion and prospect for medals in 2012. He would never have thought of taking up cycling if it was not for their one day visit. I havn't seen the athletics, swimming, boxing etc talent teams yet.

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  • 26. At 8:51pm on 18 Aug 2008, Porcavin wrote:

    Britain's cycling success together with that in rowing and sailing proves that Britons don't exercise enough because we are best sitting down.

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  • 27. At 8:51pm on 18 Aug 2008, mike wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 28. At 9:04pm on 18 Aug 2008, mike wrote:

    Furthermore, if you want to talk about supremacy in sport, look at the US womens basketball. Averaging wins of 45 points per game. I watched the US v NZ game here in the US. The commentators gave the US women a hard time over sloppy play, while crediting the NZ team as a young team aiming to reach US standards.
    Never once did I hear a commentator moan about how one-sided or dominant the US are. They asserted the US team must set their standards higher because the rest of the world are trying to catch them.

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  • 29. At 9:10pm on 18 Aug 2008, BaselGooner wrote:

    For tarquint...

    Kenya do have a cycling team , don't you remember this story from the Commonwealth Games in MANCHESTER.

    Oh and cycling is huge in Ethiopia ( I think) with it's own "tour". You don't need much money to train on a bike though you do for track cycling.

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  • 30. At 9:10pm on 18 Aug 2008, Jaujeno wrote:

    The Olympics is about winning (within the rules) and the purpose of entering an event is to win it! Consequently to feel embarrassed by the success of British Cycling is illogical and perhaps the writer´s embarrassment is more due to not knowing how to handle success. Had he followed Cycling a little more he would have learned to handle it after the successes in the World Championships and World Cup in recent years.

    I was embarrassed by the crazy exploits of Eddie the Eagle a few years ago but embarrassed by success, never! I can remember when Eddie Mercx was winning everything and I dont think he was ever embarrassed.

    As for using Cycling as a model for other sports, I understand that the person (Peter Keen?) who set out the blueprint for Cycling´s current success has moved on to UK Sport. As a result hopefully the writer will suffer further and greater embarrassment in 2012.

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  • 31. At 9:17pm on 18 Aug 2008, EPF wrote:

    Does Micheal Phelps get embaressed? Do the USA announce they will pull him out?

    We are good, we should strive to remain good and should keep the money going into sport and seek dominance elsewhere, and continued dominance in Cycling.

    We are delighted with out medal haul, but we should aim to add to it.

    Perhaps, though like the 2007 Ashes series, after dominating in 2005 we were nice enough to let them win again....

    Team GB should bask in the glory and be proud, as should we all

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  • 32. At 9:18pm on 18 Aug 2008, Brits_abroad wrote:

    As a Brit living in the US, can I ask that we just enjoy it for a change? Being "too successful" is not in the US vocabulary and they tend to do quite well in most things they put decent funding in - call it a good return on investment.

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  • 33. At 9:24pm on 18 Aug 2008, dpbeijing wrote:

    I personally am delighted to hear our national anthem time and time again.

    Since when has being successful for years of hard work and dedication been something to be ashamed of?

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  • 34. At 9:25pm on 18 Aug 2008, jmb wrote:

    Unbelievable! Are we too good, will we damage the sport by being too dominant?

    How about this one, are you serious?

    I cannot believe this has even been posted, the sentiment says everything about why this level of success is all too rare in British sport.

    Winning is good losing is bad. end of.

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  • 35. At 9:25pm on 18 Aug 2008, lionHeretic wrote:

    Jaujeno wrote:

    The Olympics is about winning (within the rules) and the purpose of entering an event is to win it! Consequently to feel embarrassed by the success of British Cycling is illogical and perhaps the writer?s embarrassment is more due to not knowing how to handle success

    I can only agree with this. You would never hear someone from the USA, Russia or China have such an embarrassed tone about success and neither should we.

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  • 36. At 9:27pm on 18 Aug 2008, Rob Olivier wrote:

    Dave Brailsford and Kelly Holmes nails the beauty of what the cyclists have acheived.

    Put away the flags, the national anthem, the potential national gloat; the amazing respect is how you can put together ingredients £20m, an international Velodrome in Manchester; select and refine national talent, bring in coaches, experts, a legacy of former acheivement in the likes of Boardman, the sports psychologists, technical team and wind tunnels; its like a Formula 1 car team ironing out things that stop winning, putting together all the minute jigsaw puzzle of detail that makes faster times, beating opponents, winning medals and creating world and olympic records; the thing of history and legand.

    Against this recipe for success and money spent on other areas, but without similar or any large success such as althetics track and field; what are these areas doing wrong and missing tricks. Are they not schooling talent with intense communual and individual competition; are they not getting in the right coaches, do they not have the correct training and competive facilities, environments or regimes?

    Redgrave and Boardman obviously have technically fed back huge amounts of experience/legacy respectively to rowing and cycling; with international coaches with an crictial inertial mass and momentum effect. Certainly like the talents of the new testament; Cycling, Sailing and Rowing have giviven vastly more value addition/profit from the £20m given to each; whereas althetics and shooting haven't really returned.

    After celebrating respective medal celebration some post analysis is needed in our less successful areas, the missing ingredients needed for 2012 wider success!

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  • 37. At 9:31pm on 18 Aug 2008, Bryan Jones wrote:

    I read that it costs about £3.5m per year to fund the GB Cycling team or approx one half of Frank Lampards annual wages. I think that is wonderful value for money. If the England football team could deliver just half of what GB Cycling has acieved in Beijing I would be a happy man.

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  • 38. At 9:32pm on 18 Aug 2008, lumpheed wrote:

    The Aussies, Kiwis, Americans and any other nationalitys that appreciate winning must read blogs like this laugh and us silly Brits. What we should be doing is consolidating our dominance and making sure that British cycling is the dominant force foryears to come. We should be setting out to erradicate the opposition, like was done in the 4km team pursuit, every time.

    Cycling has shown what can be done with proper funding and committed sportsmen.

    What we need now is for the government to do something to repair the damage that has been done to school sports by the systematic selling of playing fields, the virtual ending of inter school sports and teaching the bizzare notion that taking part counts for more than winning.

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  • 39. At 9:48pm on 18 Aug 2008, minnellium wrote:

    "The Chelsea of the Cycling World" sums it up in many ways.

    It sums up that:
    1. Shock, horror - money invested in sport wisely generally equals success.
    2. The BBC and indeed moreover the media in our tired country see Football as being the standard by which sport is measured.

    We are reminded every four years - mercifully - that there is a rich wealth of sport out there outside of football, cricket and rugby. I, for one knew damn well that we were going to get these gold medals. I watched the world track championships at Manchester - on the BBC - at Easter and it was bleeding obvious we were going to win Olympic medals after performing so well in front of the world just a few months ago. But because of this country's penchant for football, cricket and rugby, we soon seem to have forgotten about us being very good at cycling.

    Cyclists are household names in countries like Belgium, Holland, France, Spain and Italy. Not because of WAGs, haircuts, or being sent off, but because of their thrilling exploits. In this country, cyclists are thought of as lycra louts or drug takers.

    Please can we consolidate our dominance of this sport rather than undermine it?

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  • 40. At 10:07pm on 18 Aug 2008, astottie wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 41. At 10:10pm on 18 Aug 2008, Skybluejimbo wrote:

    Hey James,

    Are you having a laugh? The cycling has been without doubt the most awesome display in the Olympics so far.

    Complete dominance from the British in a sport more often favoured by our fellow europeans across the channel.

    Long may it continue another three golds this week will do nicely - or maybe we should throw a race and give somebody else a gold - doesn't that sound silly?

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  • 42. At 10:24pm on 18 Aug 2008, Mark B wrote:

    Would you like us to start deliberately losing medals?

    if we lose, journalists attack, when we win we get ridiculous articles like this.

    Grow up

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  • 43. At 10:29pm on 18 Aug 2008, FixedGuru wrote:

    For the record, we have lost several of our meagre stock of cycle tracks in recent years; Coventry, Leicester, Nottingham, Harlow, Paddington, while several others are more suitable for mountain bikes than track bikes. We still only have 24 tracks of which only 3 are indoors, of which one is not really suitable for competition. In contrast, France has about 100, Australia about 80, suprisingly the US only has 24. While it was probably the best decision British Cycling ever made to push for sufficient funding to build Manchester fully indoors, move their office there and include facilities to support the national squads. However, Manchester only has about 3000 seats, as money was too tight to build it any larger, and Newport only has 500 seats. Neither of these venues can actually pay their way without subsidies, especially since British Cycling's membership was historically around 10,000 (it is now 23,000). There are probably only 500 regular track riders in the UK - a tiny minority compared to those riding road races, time trials or MTB events.

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  • 44. At 10:39pm on 18 Aug 2008, Chrisb4whufc wrote:

    If £22m (reported by Mihir Bose)delivers this fantastic medal haul, I think it is money well spent.This is about one seventh of Chelsea's annual wage bill and the coaching team has created real team spirit - I therefore think the Chelsea analogy needs to be treated with care .
    The Danish coach is unlikely to have it right re reducing interest - Wiggins, Hoy,Romero and co will stimulate British cycling and no doubt stimulate other countries to look at their approach - yes even the Australians may learn from GB at sport.
    We should neither bask in the glory nor be embarrassed by this excellence- we need to sustain it and ensure that other sports look at the scouting , training , coaching , conditioing and funding approach GB cycling has taken.

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  • 45. At 10:41pm on 18 Aug 2008, moogmcmahon wrote:

    Err, for heaven's sake.

    We are actually good at something for a change. Let's celebrate instead of looking for someway of bringing our talented cycling lads and lasses down to earth. I read this article with a dropped jaw. I loved the way it was all supportive with the underlying context of "we're winning so I need to bring us down to earth as it won't last and then I can write something negative which is far easier for me to write and I can get down the pub quicker."

    Maybe if the journos looking for a different angle on success got behind our sportsmen and sportswomen, our underfunded and under supported stars would feel more able to push to the limits as they wouldn't fear failure (and the treatment they would get in the press) in the pursuit of excellence.

    Get your act together Mr and Mrs UK Press. Stop beating up our sports start when they fail because after all, at least they don't just have to type a few words for a living.

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  • 46. At 10:44pm on 18 Aug 2008, Ryushinku wrote:

    Okay, I think there have been far too many personal attacks on James here.

    And yet, the response still is correct at heart. This kind of success should be FURTHER encouraged, lessons derived and developed for other GB sports from the cycling team's success.

    Are we too good at cycling?
    Yes. And thank goodness for that.

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  • 47. At 10:46pm on 18 Aug 2008, eyeswiredopen wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 48. At 10:50pm on 18 Aug 2008, Just_Not_Cricket wrote:

    I'm not going to comment on the article because just about every other poster has said it for me - they're awesome and it's up to the rest of the world to catch up.

    However, I would like to say, if the GB cycling team don't get 'Team of the Year' at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year, I'm going to come round and personally sort Lineker, Barker and Childs out!

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  • 49. At 11:01pm on 18 Aug 2008, moogmcmahon wrote:

    Just like to add that if Team GB Cycling have in anyway had drug enhanced performance then we will all be ashamed.

    But if they haven't then the NZ poster should be equally ashamed.

    I await the urine tests with interest. And I never thought I'd say that lol

    If you've ever cycled around Huddersfield you'd get an idea why Ed Clancy is so good :)

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  • 50. At 11:11pm on 18 Aug 2008, FixedGuru wrote:

    As to the money, Cycling may have recieved some £22 million over the past to run the sport/pastime but the paid staff now number 150 (perhaps £3 million in wages!) and most has gone to supporting grass roots activities. True, the elite squads now receive enough to support them properly, hence the medal successes, but they do have to produce results to keep a lot of that.
    In contrast, the sport in Europe is dominated by road racing and the typical budget for a road team competing in the Tour de France is probably around £6 million - not enough to get one decent Premier League player! There are 20 in the TdF each year.
    The strategic decision by British Cycling to focus on track is laudable and has produced the desired results and public profile. European professional (road) teams can afford the odd track rider on the payroll, but in the UK the domestic teams have rarely had that luxury. Road teams also have a packed calender and their commitments may limit the preparation a trackie could make for the Olympics, similar to the problems the FA has with England players with Premiership committments.

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  • 51. At 11:13pm on 18 Aug 2008, Philblogg wrote:

    Yes, unequivocally. If lottery funding has made the difference then I, as a contributor, am delighted. I'm disappointed we haven't won everything, but perhaps the team are saving that for 2012?

    What worries and annoys me is the amount of money being wasted on the track and field team. What a bunch of numptys, no-hopers and losers. I would love to go to Beijing as a tourist,and I would love it even more if somebody else paid for me, as I am doing for this bunch of wasters.

    I would rather all funding being wasted on the track and field prima donnas (we need winners not moaners) was spent instead on the teams that have the winning mentality and the ambition to win - the rowers, cyclists and the yachtsmen and women. I accept there are the occasional exceptional talents that do well despite the evident lack of process and organisation in their particular sport.

    If anyone has a soft spot for the track and field team - they don't deserve the title 'athlete' - I hope its the quicksand in Morecambe Bay.

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  • 52. At 11:14pm on 18 Aug 2008, offertonhatter wrote:

    I can understand where James is coming from, as a nation we are not used to having such a all conquering team in sport. we only have 2 in the last 99 years (namely the England football team in '66 and the rugby team in '03) never have we been so utterly dominant in a discipline. Although we have individual golds elsewhere through the years, we have never dominated a whole sport, no matter what the race was. Unlike in the past with the USA, Australia, China, USSR, GDR etc. etc.

    In the past it has always been the plucky Brit, whether it was winning or losing, albeit in a nice way. It just makes a change that we are the best in the world at something, and not just at these Olympics, but for a couple of years. The word embarrassed is in a good way as we are not used to it.

    I for one feel that it is fantastic that we control the cycling, and it makes a wonderful change, lets celebrate the fact for a change, rather than using the old mentality of knocking down success for one reason or another.

    This has been one superb games for Team GB as not only have we topped the table in cycling (we cannot be caught), but also in the Rowing, currently the Sailing, and 4th in the swimming (and best placed Euro nation),this is something we should celebrate rather than nitpick.

    Now of only the Track and field can look at the Cycling setup (but that is another discussion)

    Well done to all the team you have done us proud.

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  • 53. At 11:15pm on 18 Aug 2008, Harpod11 wrote:

    Lame article.

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  • 54. At 11:15pm on 18 Aug 2008, tucholsky wrote:

    The last comment raises an interesting point. After the last olympics I remember "Team GB" coming away with the "team of the year" award in the Sports Personality of the year. But that simply masked the fact that some teams, rowing,cycling,sailing had been well enough organised to make up for the failings of swimming,judo and to an extent athletics (let off the hook by one woman,Kelly Holmes and the good fortune of the US Relay team underperforming).
    Also the articles in the news tonight about the amount of funding for sport didn't mention that the 26.5million for cycling does not equate to just 6 gold medals it is about many more gold medals (hopefully) in the form of coaching and training plans at junior level with an eye to the future, which have to be funded from the same budget to maintain a long term standard of success in the sport. Thankfully some sports have got it right.

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  • 55. At 11:16pm on 18 Aug 2008, halfamo wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 56. At 11:33pm on 18 Aug 2008, offertonhatter wrote:

    #45 With limited resources, does'nt that make the performance of the team even more impressive?

    #47 Team GB were on this form earlier this year at the worlds, and guess what no Drugs. And all medal winners are tested after each race anyway, and not one positive result. It is all to do with a lot of hard work and the set up.

    We all know about TDF and the drugs which have damaged the race in recent times. But so far, apart from a couple of other cyclists of other nations, the cycling has been clean.

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  • 57. At 11:45pm on 18 Aug 2008, Slungiehill wrote:

    Success should be celebrated, it creates confidence and a feel good factor. The £26 or so million spent on cyclling reaps a wider dividend than just medals. It encourages (through the success) people to take up the sport as a leisure pursuit as well as competitively. That'll make Britons fitter! assisting the realisation of yet another government goal.

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  • 58. At 11:50pm on 18 Aug 2008, offertonhatter wrote:

    Funny you should say that Slungiehill.

    I am on holiday in another part of Britain next week, and I have decided to take my bike with me, not bad for a 39 year old overweight bloke. I will never be the new Chris Hoy, but at least I will use my bike for the first time in years...... :-)

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  • 59. At 11:51pm on 18 Aug 2008, Shinnbob wrote:

    'Oh no, China can put too much money into everything, they are too good and are ruining everything'

    'Oh no, Jamaica and other Caribbean countries are too good at sprinting'

    'Oh no, Ethiopa and Kenya are just too good at long distance running'

    Please, really disagree with this blog, we are good at a sport, good for us. We can't get it right can we, we either aren't doing well enough, or are sometimes doing TOO well. And they say the British are synical..... proof that we are

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  • 60. At 11:57pm on 18 Aug 2008, YourDaddy wrote:

    Britain are the new Chelsea of the cycling world. Except they actually win something, don't play football, aren't owned by a Russian, and , er, er, er, er,er, don't actually afford any kind of comparison to chelsea at all.

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  • 61. At 11:57pm on 18 Aug 2008, FixedGuru wrote:

    The overall success is probably no different to that which the East-West Germans, Russians, Czechs, Australians and US have sought in the past and partially achieved.
    A few years ago the Germans had a siimilar strength in depth on the track, with several sprinters of similar ability to Chris Hoy (Jens Fielder for one) and pursuiters like Jens Lehmann.

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  • 62. At 11:59pm on 18 Aug 2008, YourDaddy wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 63. At 00:01am on 19 Aug 2008, eyeswiredopen wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 64. At 00:02am on 19 Aug 2008, YourDaddy wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 65. At 00:22am on 19 Aug 2008, Tmthyhrl wrote:

    It has been a long hard road for the cyclists to reach this point and I really can't understand how James Munro has come to the conclusion that we are too successful. It won't last like it didn't last when the Australians dominated cycling for a time. It is just the case now that Britain has the best system right now so are producing the best cyclists and you can bet that the likes of the Aussies and the French have been watching the British area very closely this past few days and they will soon be on to it and will start to catch up again. You are far too ahead of yourself here james and I can't say that I have seen many Chinese in the velodrome falling asleep with boredom as they see super fast races and world records galore. Was the swimming boring with Michael Phelps so dominant? I don't think so.

    Just go to the velodrome tomorrow again James and enjoy the racing and the British gold medals and think yourself lucky that you are seeing a golden age for Britain in one sport at long last and the fact that you are being paid to be there too and aren't you a lucky chap? Don't feel sorry for the trudging Aussies either because they will be looking and learning and will come back no doubt. Then you will be complaining about them being smug and rubbing it in that they are top dogs again.

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  • 66. At 00:23am on 19 Aug 2008, word4word wrote:

    I think people should be allowed to feel proud and happy for Team GB's success.

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  • 67. At 00:43am on 19 Aug 2008, Black and White and Ram All Over! wrote:

    I am incredibly proud of all our medal winners particularly our cyclists. This isn't the end of it by any stretch, it'll be interestig to see where our swimmers will be in four years time as they are following a similar model to the cyclists. Who knows maybe 30 golds in 2012 if the funding remains.

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  • 68. At 00:45am on 19 Aug 2008, piechucker31 wrote:

    No cos the cyclists win (almost) everything.

    Said with feeling as someone who is obsessed with cricket to the point that it makes me ill; as John Cleese said in that film about the lost briefcase, "I can take the despair, it's the hope I can't stand".

    Then we come to the cycling-the optimism, the fulfilled potential, the determination, the focus and intensity, the refusal to accept second best, the sheer domination, it's a different ruddy planet!

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  • 69. At 00:48am on 19 Aug 2008, elsieb66 wrote:

    I don't know when the Olympic Games turned into an Ashes-style stoush, but it's an interesting turn of events. No one can deny that the British have done really well and some of the performances - like Adlington - have been amazing. To be honest, it's about time. I applaud the athletes, but the pundits' inane commentary drives me nuts. We Aussies will come back fighting though. That's what sport is all about ... it's all swings and roundabouts. I just wish more Aussies could run and jump and then we'd have it covered. :-)

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  • 70. At 01:08am on 19 Aug 2008, chibaken wrote:

    I see the Aussies are claiming that our success is down to them.

    Some old same old...

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  • 71. At 01:19am on 19 Aug 2008, etienne123 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 72. At 01:21am on 19 Aug 2008, dkbgwalker wrote:

    Good for the cyclists -it's been brillaint to see such strength and confidence in a team and on such small funding compared to our overpaid underachieving England football team. The olympics is about real sportsman and women who do for their love of their sport and the cahnce to win a medal.
    At last Britain is taking a more postive role in developing the talent available by providing funding and centres of excellence. These centres with the resources such as physios, lab facilities to do cardovascular tests etc are now starting to show results. For many years the Aussies have had centres of excellence in all regional areas for thier juniors as well as their seniors in swimming. The blogger who thinks every city has a 50m pool in Britain is wrong. We actually have only a couple more 50m pools than Hong Kong and London's Crystal palace is closed due to asbestos! Swimming and training in a 25m pool does not prepare you for the 50m pool. Many of our nations younger competitive swimmers rarely get to swim in 50m pools . Britain needs better sports facilties in many sports if we are going to get that 4th spot in 2012. Don' be ashamed of British Success celebrate when we can as all too often we are making excuses for our poor performances

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  • 73. At 02:00am on 19 Aug 2008, Bellinoz wrote:

    It is brilliant to see the GB Cycling team dominating the sport - At last we have a team that is producing world class results on a regular basis. The funding obviously helps, but why complain, that is what the lottery was set up for and we should be proud that we have such a scheme in place. The dangerous thing would be to rest on our laurels like other British Sports teams (Yes you cricketers after the ashes success) - We need to build on this success, use cycling as an example and raise the levels of ALL our sports - Give our great nation the athletes they deserve, inspire future generations to follow in their footsteps. Show them that with hard work and dedication that Britsih sportsmen and women can compete with and beat the best in the world - Maybe that will give the nation the injection of pride it needs.

    GB Obviously has talent, lets get it out there. As for the funding, well, maybe we are catching up after decades of underfunding. I didn't see the Aussies weaping for us when we were rubbish

    This is a great performance from team GB - Celebrate it and be Proud and look forward to London 2012 and even more success

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  • 74. At 02:02am on 19 Aug 2008, etienne123 wrote:

    i reckon this blogger was embarrassed when steve redgrave won his fifth gold in sydney.

    "what a disgrace redgrave won again ... why didn't he let someone else (obviously from a different country) have a turn."

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  • 75. At 02:06am on 19 Aug 2008, woolloomoolooinoz wrote:

    You are not serious surely? Be embarassed by having your flag raised over the velodrome so many times? You should be raising your arms in glee!!!
    I think its great!. I am an aussie and although I am despondent that our cyclists did not do at all well, I am hoping it will be a wakeup call to show that more money needs to be spent in cycling if Australia does not want a repeat of this in 2012.

    Maybe half your medals did come from cycling but then so did half our medals come from swimming.
    Lose interest in the sport? No, that wont happen. You british will now have an enormous interest in it especially if it means that a repeat perfomance can happen in 4 years on your own home ground. Us Aussies and other countires will be more interested as they will wish to improve themselves. So its all good.

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  • 76. At 02:17am on 19 Aug 2008, bleedinhart wrote:


    Please let me the first (or so it would seem) to congratulate you on setting off this blog. It would seem you've touched off a raw nerve! Mainly, it would appear, from people who haven't bothered to read your article properly.

    In fact the very stridency of most of your critics on this blog have tended to sour the elation I have felt about "our" successes. I for one at least am quite happy about being slightly embarrassed by tubthumping, aggressive jingoism - and as a Pom who lives in Oz I should know what I'm talking about!

    You've started me thinking about things now - surely the sign of a good blog theme! My general rule I guess as a sports follower, as in life in general, would be: when in doubt and all other things being equal go for the underdog. You'll nearly always end up disappointed, of course, but the occasional highs, when they come, are that much sweeter. Ah, hubris - you just gotta love it!

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  • 77. At 02:20am on 19 Aug 2008, etienne123 wrote:


    you describe yourself as a pom.

    says it all, really.

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  • 78. At 02:24am on 19 Aug 2008, bleedinhart wrote:


    And proud of it! And if it says it all (which it probably doesn't) then so much the better!

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  • 79. At 02:32am on 19 Aug 2008, etienne123 wrote:

    proud of what?

    i've no problem with the word pom - when aussies use it. and as someone who lives in perth i hear it often enough.

    but to use the word myself? i'd cringe.

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  • 80. At 02:35am on 19 Aug 2008, bleedinhart wrote:

    On reflection, I think I'd like to remove those two exclamation marks from my previous post - seems a bit self-congratulatory, don't you think? Perhaps I should leave that to those who like to get their jollies from all that sort of thing, eh what?

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  • 81. At 04:30am on 19 Aug 2008, swsquires wrote:

    I found a comment earlier about British Cycling visiting schools to look for potential future stars very interesting. Lets face it, we have lots of potential in this country. The problem is that most schools play football an not much else. At my school we played football, the odd bit of cricket and rugby in our first year only. In my 5 years I threw a javelin twice, a shot putt once, a discus once.

    Schools have an important role. The "fat" kid in the class will gain nothing from running 100 metres races, but could be perfectly suited to discus for example. The tall kid might have the perfect frame for swimming. The skinny small kid won't ever be a professional footballer or 100 metre runner, but could be a long distance runner, or be destroying other cyclists in the Tour de France mountain stages in a few years time.

    Will dominance from Great Britain in cycling affect interest? Did Lance Armstrong winning 7 Tours de France negatively affect the popularity of cycling around the world? No. When someone or a team/country is dominant other people watch hoping to see them beaten. The old story of the unbeatable champion and the underdog.

    Seeing how amazing the lottery money has been for cycling and what it could do for other sports in England with the right model I'm actually tempted to buy the odd lottery ticket now.....

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  • 82. At 05:02am on 19 Aug 2008, smilingSpongeMuffin wrote:

    So typically British. Maybe we should stick hot pins in our face to make up for the joy it all.

    We are winning. Enjoy it.

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  • 83. At 05:16am on 19 Aug 2008, anglomexican wrote:

    For goodness sake, give us a break. What a ridiculous blog.

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  • 84. At 06:37am on 19 Aug 2008, Moutarde wrote:

    Very silly blog.

    Let's keep throwing the money at sport (especially given the alternative ways in which lottery money can be spent...) and put a smile on our faces.

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  • 85. At 07:01am on 19 Aug 2008, OwenCarter1973 wrote:

    Good on ya Poms!

    About bloody time you gave us Aussies a run for our money (which we've been throwing at sports for many years - hence our previous successes). No need to be ashamed of success through good funding. The simple truth is that if you pay the best, you get the best (and that's why your cycling coach is Australian!). I'm now very much looking forward to the Commonwealth Games which promises to be much more than a one-horse race for the first time in years.

    Now if only Canada and the Kiwis start increasing their funding too...

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  • 86. At 07:04am on 19 Aug 2008, seoulmate66 wrote:

    I'd give anything to hear the national anthem just once. Here in Korea all we get is endless re-runs of Koreans winning medals and BBC World News is so keen to be global that not one British sailing, rowing or cycling win was shown all weekend. Believe me, no other country would even think of questioning it's achievements.

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  • 87. At 07:14am on 19 Aug 2008, Lordy L wrote:

    Athletics had £26 million of Lottery pumped into it as oppose to the £22 million given to track cycling and yet how many medals has it produced.

    Well done to the cyclists who are an awesome bunch and I'd be quite happy if they dominated every single discipline, in both women's and men's events!

    One person winning 8 events on his own doesn't seem to be questioned.........

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  • 88. At 07:19am on 19 Aug 2008, gregon wrote:

    Being a Brit who has migrated to Australia its fantastic to see how brilliantly we have done at the Olympics, especially the cycling.The Aussie media never tires of pommie bashing and gloating how much better at sport they are and it really sticks in their throat that the poms are above them in the medal table.So I say you should never tire as to how great we are at one sport when another country is so quick to put us down.

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  • 89. At 07:49am on 19 Aug 2008, Arthur Brede wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 90. At 07:53am on 19 Aug 2008, confiseur wrote:


    If you are embarassed by our cycling success you can always go and watch our over-paid, hugely over-rated princesses of the premier league as they fail to even qualify for a major sporting event.

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  • 91. At 08:08am on 19 Aug 2008, Mbantua wrote:

    As an's always good to beat the Brits at any sport...and the Kiwis for that matter!
    But do Australians risk not enjoying the Olympics for the great sporting spectacle they are, and feeling slightly glum, just because we don't win as many Gold as first thought, or don't finish up the medal tally as high as first thought?
    Do Americans feel the same way, as China races ahead on the medal tally and Jamaica takes all the glamour track titles?
    Love to beat the Brits, but as a fan of bicycle racing since racing BMX as a teen, I can't help admiring in awe Chris Hoy's efforts.
    I might forget about nations for the rest of the Games and just enjoy what individual athletes are capable of.

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  • 92. At 08:33am on 19 Aug 2008, MikeFay wrote:

    OwenCarter1973 - only one of the Team GB cycling coaches is Australian. The sprint cycling coach is Dutch, the rest are, I believe, British.

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  • 93. At 08:43am on 19 Aug 2008, blacula wrote:

    As an alternative James Munro, I am surprised that so many apparently intelligent people cannot see through a deliberately-provocative (and tongue-in-cheek) article by my namesake.

    Personally, I wish they would dispense with all th nationalistic pomp anyway.

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  • 94. At 08:44am on 19 Aug 2008, James Munro - BBC Sport wrote:

    Remember that feeling as a kid when for once you hit paydirt at the Easter Egg hunt and every bush you looked behind had yet more chocolate, and there's Timmy running around with an empty basket?

    You try to keep out of Mum's way because you know she'll tell you to hand some of the eggs over.

    I think that's what I was trying to get across. Yes I wanted to find every egg. No I didn't want to share a single one.

    So maybe the word embarrassed was wrong in the context of the blog.

    I've really enjoyed covering the rise and rise of British Cycling, and what Dave B and his team have achieved here in Beijing is full reward for some incredible hard work over the past decade. And it's only going to get even better.

    TigerMilkBoy you make a good point about the US women's basketball team - but have you seen their softball team?

    They beat China 9-0 last night - they've won all three previous golds and were unbeaten in Athens.

    And guess which Olympic sport is being scrapped after these games? Softball.

    They'll never do that to track cycling obviously, but the UCI might have a view on what goes into the Olympic programme - just a thought.

    SpyIII spot on - nobody gave up on golf because of Tiger Woods - quite the reverse.

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  • 95. At 08:51am on 19 Aug 2008, oc wrote:

    To compare lottery funded track cycling to the financial backing received by football clubs such as Chelsea is absolutely absurd.

    The amounts our track riders and teams receive is tiny compared with a footballer's income.

    However we should be celebrating the fact that despite this, the GB team has created the most successful group of athletes on the track supported by an excellent technical and management team.

    Quite a few footballers, managers and clubs should be embarrassed about how effectively some of our Olympic teams such as cycling, rowing, sailing etc have used their limited funding to actually succeed.

    I suggest a redistribution of football's income to some other more deserving sports!!

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  • 96. At 09:13am on 19 Aug 2008, Ryushinku wrote:

    Yeah but James, what if Timmy and Johnny and Bill had spent the last five years grabbing all the eggs and laughing at your empty basket?

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  • 97. At 09:14am on 19 Aug 2008, AussieInDubs wrote:

    Hilarious. The Brits, even when they win something, don't know what to do with themselves.

    But here's a warning, I think the Brit cycling team will have rattled a few cages at this Games (the Aussies, French, etc) and it'll take a huge effort to back this up in London...

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  • 98. At 09:32am on 19 Aug 2008, editorsfoot wrote:

    I think the aussie in post 97 sums it up, we need to keep hold of Dave Brailsford Shane Sutton (keep telling him he is more Welsh than Aussie) as well as bringing on the up and coming talent to continue to do well in 2012. And unlike womens softball lots of other countries want to do well in cycling as well.

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  • 99. At 09:55am on 19 Aug 2008, DGHughes wrote:

    Let's enjoy British success and build on it. Cycling's a great sport, and riding a bike a great activity. Let's use the success of Britain's cyclists to get more people out on bikes, whether for competition, for fitness or just for fun

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  • 100. At 10:05am on 19 Aug 2008, RubberNutz wrote:

    Agree with Brailsford, far too British an attitude. Do you think all the years the Aussies spent battering us at cricket they were secretly worrying... "Streuth mate, If we batter these Pommies again, then the poor things will lose interest and not want to play us any more." Utter nonsense.

    A country full of people like you are the reason we have been in the sporting Doldrums for years.

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  • 101. At 10:12am on 19 Aug 2008, gbiese wrote:

    Well seeing as "God Save the Queen" seems to be the national anthem for both Great Britain, as well as England, no wonder he was embarrased!!

    How do 2 countries have the same national anthem??

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  • 102. At 10:13am on 19 Aug 2008, moogmcmahon wrote:

    Oh my god, I'm so ashamed! We're doing so well again today in the cycling I need to whip myself with birch twigs.

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  • 103. At 10:20am on 19 Aug 2008, katyrouth wrote:

    To all those complaining that this piece has been written by someone employed by, and published by, the BBC - it's an opinion piece. On a blog. It's designed to stir up responses, spark a debate, etc. If you can't handle being shown a differing opinion, or even a question, once in a while, can I suggest you simply stop reading the blogs?

    Or, alternatively, you could actually read the blog, rather than just the headline. Let's see:

    "I'll never tire of hearing the national anthem at an Olympic venue"

    "I'll be back there on Tuesday, hoping to hear that anthem another three times".

    Mmm. The author is definitely ashamed of our success. Perhaps we should sack him for being insufficiently jingoistic?

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  • 104. At 10:21am on 19 Aug 2008, chancedog wrote:

    I just wish that our cyclists would slow down a bit to make it more interesting for someone like me who only gets to see cycling during the Olympics. It does get a bit boring knowing the result prior to the race even starting.

    On a more serious note however, people compete in sport to win - if they don't then they shouldn't be doing it professionally.

    In 4 years time I'm sure you'll see that the other nations have made a serious effort to catch up with the high standards set by the British team.

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  • 105. At 10:24am on 19 Aug 2008, U10879285 wrote:

    "Hilarious. The Brits, even when they win something, don't know what to do with themselves."

    Actually we do. We're going to rub your noses in it at every opportunity.

    "But here's a warning, I think the Brit cycling team will have rattled a few cages at this Games (the Aussies, French, etc) and it'll take a huge effort to back this up in London..."

    The effort will be there, in fact its the cycling teams aim to win EVERY gold at London, and I think they just might do it. As for Australia, thanks for the memories but as a sporting nation you're fading fast. 58 in Sydney, 49 in Athens, you'll be lucky to win 40 here.

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  • 106. At 10:43am on 19 Aug 2008, Agonyman wrote:

    How ridiculous is this question, are we too good at cycling? Do we hear the US team complaining about Phelps winning 8 golds? No we don't, they are revelling in it, and so should we, its not often we excel at any sport so make the most of it while we can.

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  • 107. At 10:43am on 19 Aug 2008, debsy22 wrote:

    This article is a fine example of what is wrong with Great Britain at the moment. I am currently living in New Zealand where the public and the media embrace everything kiwi and bask in the glory of every success they have. You would never hear a New Zealand journalist saying they were embarrassed that they were possibly too good at something. I am proud to be British and look forward to returning home at the end of the year, I could easily watch the Brits win every event at the whole Olympics. I actually think this article is an insult to the cycling team who have obviously worked incredibly hard for years to get to the level they are at. They along with all our other athletes should be celebrated and rewarded for all their efforts, not questioned as to whether they are possibly a bit too good! I agree with a previous comment made - I think the BBC bloggers must be getting paid by the word if they are writing articles like this!

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  • 108. At 10:45am on 19 Aug 2008, J249 wrote:

    It seems pretty typical of the British media, that as soon as we dominate something the question 'Are we too good?' pops it's head up.

    Are we supposed to lose a few medals so that other countries don't lose heart?


    We should be saying 'Here's the benchmark, come and get us'!

    Because of investment we have risen to the top. This is proof that with investment our tiny nation can dominate the world. This should just be the beginning of a great era of British sport.

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  • 109. At 10:45am on 19 Aug 2008, AussieInDubs wrote:

    LOL, one good Olympics and they all come out of the woodwork, eh, #105??

    There's more to life than swimming or riding a £20,000 bike around a track or some posh people sitting in boats off China...

    Brit success has come quickly in cycling in the last few years but everyone will be gunning for them next time.

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  • 110. At 10:51am on 19 Aug 2008, greenmariner wrote:

    I can't see how our success in cycling can be criticised? For years other events have been dominated by other countries, the Aussies in swimming, Americans in track (now the Jamaicans in sprinting), the South Koreans in archery, the Chinese in gymnastics, I could go on!
    So why criticise the British for being dominant in an event? We've just raised the bar for other countries to follow, the Brits have been good for just a few years at cycling and they're already being questioned for being too good? I just cannot agree...
    I'd put a lot of money on the velodrome being packed at 2012, what's wrong with that?

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  • 111. At 10:51am on 19 Aug 2008, Mike wrote:

    Is it just me or are others also sick of the "they're only winning because they've had money thrown at them"? They're winning because they put the organization, coaching and talent finding into place 10 years ago. This is not a money game and the sums are relatively small by financing and sponsorship standards. They just use the money better than others.

    The riders are winning on the track but Brailsford and Keen should be the knighted members of the team. They facilitated this and worked jsut as hard as the training regimes of the athletes without the potential rewards. To these guys should go at least some of the plaudits.

    Without them Wiggins and Hoy would just be tema riders in professional road cycling teams.

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  • 112. At 10:57am on 19 Aug 2008, jamesdoughty1982 wrote:

    I personally dont care if we're too good at something. I think it's great to see our athletes excel at something for a change!!

    It just goes to show that with some investment and a bit of time we can be the best at anything!!

    British sport needs investment across the board, from schools to local councils.

    Its time to take the same attitude of our cyclists and apply it to all other sports me thinks.

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  • 113. At 11:02am on 19 Aug 2008, Hassaman wrote:

    I think the sentiment underlying this article is the thought that the nature and extent of this sudden domination is too good to be true. I share this fear, particularly as cycling is accepted as the sport with the greatest problem with drugs. Attributing this to the fact that we have a decent velodrome seems to me to be incredibly naive. There are no natural advantages, participation rates or other factors which I believe can explain this apparent freak emergence of a large group of cyclists who, for example, are able to break a pursuit world record by more than 6 seconds without significant effort. The records tumbling in swimming is because of the new technology swim wear which have improved everyone's times significantly. There is no such credible explanation for cycling.

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  • 114. At 11:05am on 19 Aug 2008, grurn34 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 115. At 11:05am on 19 Aug 2008, SteveUK1978 wrote:

    Having lived in Australia for 5 years and being subjected to hours of TV watching their swimmers and cyclists receiving gold medal after gold medal as we floundered (the last commonwealth games was especially tough) I could never tire of us cleaning up in a sport they used to dominate. Keep it coming!

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  • 116. At 11:08am on 19 Aug 2008, greenmariner wrote:

    How can you say there's been no advancement? I'm no expert on cycling, but I am aware that there is new technology in cycling all the time, and the fact that all this new technology starts in the UK is a definite advantage...
    We were also the first to use the lighter-weight bikes.
    It's such a British thing to think there has to be an illegal reason behind us suddenly advancing in a sport. Have a read up about how much effort and time and new technological advancements there have been, maybe you'll change your mind...

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  • 117. At 11:08am on 19 Aug 2008, gbiese wrote:

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  • 118. At 11:11am on 19 Aug 2008, koyner wrote:

    How twisted is that, asking us to feel guilty about doing well?

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  • 119. At 11:12am on 19 Aug 2008, Villagewarlord wrote:

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  • 120. At 11:13am on 19 Aug 2008, AussieInDubs wrote:

    It's got to be the Aussie coach you lads have!!

    Go Meares in the womens final!!

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  • 121. At 11:13am on 19 Aug 2008, Scotney1967 wrote:

    There are a lot more world class cyclists coming through the ranks as well. The next decade will be great for British sport.

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  • 122. At 11:16am on 19 Aug 2008, englandcomeon wrote:

    Too successful??
    Do what? the British press slaughter our sportsmen/wmoen if they fail and when they do clear the board for a change we're embarrassed????

    Can you imagine the Aussies, Germans, Americans or Chinese being embarrassed?

    I think not, if you want to be embarrassed be so for the state of the national football or cricket teams, don't be British and not expect to win and insult the efforts of our sportsmen/women that have spent four years of their lives for one day of sporting success or sadly (Radcliff, Tweddle) misery.

    Be proud not embarrassed!!

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  • 123. At 11:20am on 19 Aug 2008, nick3216 wrote:


    track cycling is actually cheap compared to many other sports, certainly you can get started for less than it costs to kit a child out in a replica football strip!

    You also picked a poor nation to use as your example of nations that don't cycle. The Kenyan Cycling Team achieved loacl fame at the 2002 Commonwealth Games when they were stopped on the M61 cycling near Bolton.

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  • 124. At 11:25am on 19 Aug 2008, smilingSpongeMuffin wrote:

    In the name of audience participation, a trend that has caught on well in the media, and we could level the playing field with that.

    If we were honest, we don't watch cycling unless it is the Olympics. If we could devise a system that worked on a points basis so the non competing teams could throw darts at the opposing teams, especially the British team, then it may increase it's audience and encourage even more money in the sport.

    Really good article.

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  • 125. At 11:27am on 19 Aug 2008, NormanNippy wrote:

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  • 126. At 11:30am on 19 Aug 2008, smilingSpongeMuffin wrote:

    "Britain's cycling success - is it cricket?"

    No, it's cycling.

    You must be very new to sports commentating. The BBC employment standards are in need of review. I have been looking for a job for a few months now, and even I knew that one. Old school tie net work I see.

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  • 127. At 11:32am on 19 Aug 2008, Scotney1967 wrote:

    Remember the cycling success is not a new thing. Craig McLean (a good highland boy) has won olympic medals and world championships with world records for the past 10 years. Just a pity these athletes are not financially rewarded for their efforts.

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  • 128. At 11:34am on 19 Aug 2008, andbon95 wrote:

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  • 129. At 11:37am on 19 Aug 2008, blacula wrote:

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  • 130. At 11:40am on 19 Aug 2008, simonmanila wrote:

    Typical. Why do we Brits have to constantly look for the negatives when we our countrymen achieve such great success? Why can't we glory in the fact that Britain is the best in the world at something? Why does there have to be an article saying that success is a bad thing? I'm sure that this correspondent and plenty other were complaining loudly when not enough money was being put into British sport, now it is and we are reaping the rewards apparently that is a bad thing too! I honestly don't understand this British attitude of building people up just to knock them down again - and sports journalists are the absolute worst.

    This type of attitude is one of the reasons why have lived away from the UK for almost four years, in Manila, and seeing the way Filipinos react to Manny Pacquiao, the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world, as a true hero and people's champion, as wel as a proud Filipino, is really is a lesson for me.

    I'm not saying there is no place for this type of article, but coming from the British media? Do you think the Americans will be complaining about winning too many golds??

    And writing this the day after such success... at least give our cycling boys a little time to enjoy the fruits of their labour before knocking them back down again!

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  • 131. At 11:49am on 19 Aug 2008, grurn34 wrote:

    I think I've got the answer, the reason why Munro and his kind feel the need to question what's happening. It's because they think it's going to CHANGE us, that we're somehow going to become 'less British', or (God forbid) 'more American' (y'know, more competitive, less able to laugh at ourselves) as a result. But it won't. We'll still know that (most) Americans are idiots, the Germans have no sense of humour, and the French eat Horses. Remember the anecdote about the squaddies in Iraq; an American reporter sees a group of British serviceman staring at a rock, with a picture of Kylie Minogue stuck to it, and a row of buttons painted on the side. 'Whaddya doin'?' says the Yank. 'What's it look like, mate? We're watching T.V.' That is why we are who we are. No amount of gold medals, McDonalds or the Munros of this world will ever change that.

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  • 132. At 11:49am on 19 Aug 2008, expatintx wrote:

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  • 133. At 12:09pm on 19 Aug 2008, bizarreohdear wrote:

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  • 134. At 12:15pm on 19 Aug 2008, EnemyofSteveMcClaren wrote:

    This is outrageous. The Aussies, the US or the Chinese would never moan about being too good in a sport. We finally have a sport in which we are dominant and we should bask in the glory. But instead we find reasons to put a negative spin on all this success. We should stop being so British and bask in the glory of our cyclists instead of worrying about everyone else.

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  • 135. At 12:30pm on 19 Aug 2008, batdude_uk123 wrote:

    Does Phelps complain about winning all his medals?? No, unless I missed it, I don't remember him or anyone else saying, well perhaps it is a bad thing what he is doing.

    No people celebrated his success, so why don't we do that with our bike riders?

    This may never, ever happen again (then again it might, but we don't know for sure), so while it is happening lets celebrate and revel in the fact that we have the best bike riders anywhere in the whole entire planet!

    Let the other countries worry about their systems, as we have got ours right.

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  • 136. At 12:31pm on 19 Aug 2008, c_murphy86 wrote:

    GB still have a long way to go. Domination in the track is superb but the next aim for the cycling team is to make an impact on the Pro Roadracing circuit where, Mark Cavandish, Dave Miller and Roger Hammond aside we are very much minor players. As the talent gets spread a little thinner and we concentrate on excellence in more areas inevitably our straight domination on the track will decrease slightly.

    Take Cavandish as an example, his wins in the Tour de France have made him the biggest British name in World Cycling, but he only managed 8th in the Madison. Had he concentrated on the madison solely he probably would've won gold, which isn't a bad thing I'll take 4 Tour wins over an Olympic gold medal anyday. But the same thing will eventually happen to Geraint Thomas as he improves on the road especially with a Team GB road team in the works. That will effect our medal tally but will increase our standing in the world.

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  • 137. At 12:32pm on 19 Aug 2008, APCMANC wrote:

    There seems to be a suggestion that cycling has had more than its share of £s and thats the reason for success.

    UK sport spent around £100 million last year, 3.3m went on cycling.

    That suggests (to me) that other sports had their share and maybe did not make it work as hard as cycling did.

    Cycling is successfull for it is full of people who are 100% committed to making it work, winners at all costs.

    Comments by certain retired athletes on this mornings olympic programme on the BBC suggested its easier for cyclists for part of their success is due to equipment(!!!). What a ridiculous suggestion, totally unworthy of him.

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  • 138. At 12:34pm on 19 Aug 2008, lodefinition wrote:

    Stop being so bloody miserable. Cycling can serve as an example to improve our other disciplines.

    Lets be positive about things for once.

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  • 139. At 12:37pm on 19 Aug 2008, pbarks wrote:

    Is Michael Phelps too good at swimming? I am struggling to find any negative press from US journalists over their swimming hero. Surly this is a time to celebrate an amazing few days for Team GB not to try and put a negative spin these achievements. How can you be too good at something?

    God help the cycling team if they under perform in 2012!

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  • 140. At 12:37pm on 19 Aug 2008, dan161081 wrote:

    you have a dilemma about us being too good? lol maybe thats why we keep letting our standards fall in too many other sports because people adopt your ridiculous thinking when it comes to winning.

    I cant belive you said you were embarrassed , do you think the denmark coach would have been the same if his team cleared up the medals?

    Poor old australia their arrogance took a beating along with their medal talley. Its country against country and certainly not about dilemmas. Its about time we started showing that team GB can win and i for one am glad that they have started getting funding as this countries sport was on the way down a few years back. Now with 2012 next the funding should get better and more widespread and have a full noticeable impact.

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  • 141. At 12:41pm on 19 Aug 2008, dibart wrote:

    what unfortunate statement to make. do you think the americans are bothered when one member of their team wins 8 gold medals. the australians revel in beating us and would never even consider making such a statement.

    Perhaps you should show a little more pride in your nation after such a fantastic performance.

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  • 142. At 12:43pm on 19 Aug 2008, Cyclespur wrote:

    This blog highlights the struggles that UK cyclists have to overcome which makes this success all the more amazing.

    Britain has been excellent at cycling for years, especially at time trialling (Boardman, Miller, Obree) and gets no media coverage out of Olympic year. Where were our cyclist at last years SPOTY despite their successes at the World Champs in Mallorca?

    Furthermore, many have to train on the road where many of us lesser cyclists suffer regular abuse just for being cyclists.

    This year a top class time trialist, Jason MacIntyre - who many wont even of heard - was killed whilst training. Driver got a fine.

    Once the Olympics are over Britain will focus on overpaid, bling splattered footballers and their wives rather than serious athletes.

    No we can't be too good at cycling, but even being this good is unlikely to overturn a century of UK cyclephobia.

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  • 143. At 12:49pm on 19 Aug 2008, kg_maclean wrote:

    It's disgraceful that we should be good at any sport. I hang my head in shame lower and lower with every gold we win. We must return all our gold medals and promise never to compete in any of the sports where we have excelled again. In fact while we are at it why don't we concede that we lost two World Wars, the Napolenic War and the Falklands conflict. Winning is not what we do here.

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  • 144. At 12:50pm on 19 Aug 2008, howitreallyis wrote:

    No, we're not too good. Why is this even being suggested?

    Everyone complains for years that we don't do well enough and suddenly when we're sweeping the board, we're possibly TOO good!

    Next it'll be suggested we give the medals back as we Brits are so sporting!

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  • 145. At 12:54pm on 19 Aug 2008, MarkB2 wrote:

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  • 146. At 12:57pm on 19 Aug 2008, Jeeees wrote:

    Nah I disagree. Its a silly thing to say we are too good, and its very typical of people on this country. Ashamed of people that represent us no matter what. You don't see the Americans compaining about Phelps do you?!! Absolutelly pathetic

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  • 147. At 12:58pm on 19 Aug 2008, willyTbell wrote:

    once again we have a BBC journalist who is trying to think independantly rather than supporting everything that is good about our achievements...get back to the grass roots and realise what it means to these people who cycle in all weathers everyday of the year...come on Team GB!!!

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  • 148. At 1:00pm on 19 Aug 2008, luckyspiderdad wrote:

    This debate is a non-starter.

    I don't recall Australia ever talking about too much success, or America talking about too many medals.

    Utter nonsense.

    And the argument that lottery money has somehow given these folks success on a plate is utter nonsense as well.

    Lottery funding has only given them the best science, nutrition and techniques that money can buy - something other nations like the US and Australia have been doing for years.

    So the playing field is actually quite level.

    Our athletes still have to wake up at 4am and train till late to make the grade, giving up all the things we take for granted - the odd chocolate biscuit, a drink with friends.

    They still have to learn their craft and bring it all together to deliver on the day.

    Let's not get carried away, but let's give these guys a pat on the back for what they have achieved - lottery funding has not acheived this. It's simply put us at the same level as other great sporting nations.

    I can't imagine how much China has spent on giving their athletes the best of everything so they can deliver for their home crowd.....

    Embarrassed to win too much? Stop being so pathetic.

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  • 149. At 1:02pm on 19 Aug 2008, bizarreohdear wrote:

    James Munro please read what most British people actually think.
    Not what you think we think as always, Make an apology please.

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  • 150. At 1:04pm on 19 Aug 2008, Arsh wrote:

    It's funny. I was quite emotional watching our cyclists at the World Champs when we looked great but were not yet 'invincible'. And for the first few golds this time I felt the same. By the time Hoy beat Kenny I was almost embarrassed by our riches in that stupid, self effacing English way. No, I take that back, it's not stupid or Engish, it's human. People like underdogs, they like close contests, dramatic and unexpected events. Watching Phelps is dull. Great sport is about close competition.

    Pendleton's face said it all at the end of her race. It was like, "Is that it?" She couldn't quite appreciate the enormity of her achievement because it had been so easy. Had she won after going a leg down, or like Nicola Cooke, won in a very open competition against the odds, she would have felt the same emotions Cooke clearly experienced. The sweetest victories are rarely the easiest.

    In the rowing, which is boring but competition is closer, winning gold seems to have that extra edge. And if, say, Tasha Danvers won on the track, it would be incredible, like Kelly Holmes four years ago.

    You can't take anything away from the cyclists who are supreme athletes with a fantastic team ethic but cycling needs close competition. We need the rest of the world to improve. Come on Ozzie, where are ya mate?

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  • 151. At 1:05pm on 19 Aug 2008, GBCyclingforever wrote:

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  • 152. At 1:12pm on 19 Aug 2008, mrchelsea69 wrote:

    What a silly article!!!


    In 2012 i hope we win all the cycling medals on offer ... and no i do not feel guilty about thinking or saying it!!!

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  • 153. At 1:13pm on 19 Aug 2008, Pandananda wrote:

    Be proud of our achievement and not question if we have done the right thing or whether we are going to cause the downfall of a sport. We have countries like, Russia, China and the USA with Specialist training centres for every discipline in the olympics. Children as young as 4 or 5 are alreday selected to have potential in different fields and they get given the opportunity. in these countries there is great pride and the motto is win every gold out there (some people think this arrogant), youngster that show potential get 100% scholarships to specialist universities/ Colleges - it appears at times that you are the superstar if you can do sport - acedemia sometimes being rediculed (not my idea of fun but it works). So lets be positive, the 2012 the games will be hosted by London, the formula that was used in cycling and rowing should be expanded to other sporting areas so we can start to prepare our 11 year olds onwards to be the next olympic stars in whichever sport they best excel at, maybe we should dare to dream that we will reach the stars and be up there with the greats.

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  • 154. At 1:14pm on 19 Aug 2008, Washby wrote:

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  • 155. At 1:18pm on 19 Aug 2008, iGlad wrote:

    Poster no. 55 Haifamo hits the nail on the head with

    [The question shouldn't be "Are the Cyclists too good", rather "Why are the other sports so rubbish"]

    I am in total agreement and we need to look long and hard at track and field, which has hoovered up so much lottery funding over the past 10 years and has little to show for it. However track and field will do what they always do hide in the corner hoping no one will notice how bad they are.

    I for one would scrap all funding to the UK track and field in a heartbeat as they are just rubbish overall, Sotherton was a disgrace. It's time to bring the hatchet down on UK athletics.

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  • 156. At 1:18pm on 19 Aug 2008, smashingredXI wrote:

    I wouldn’t imagine that people in the U.S. have ever been ‘a bit embarrassed’ by the fact that they’ve dominated the Olympics throughout its history and I doubt that China feels ‘a bit embarrassed’ about the size of its population in relation to the other competing countries, so why should we feel any embarrassment for excelling in certain sports? It’s not our responsibility to give other countries the means to compete with us or in our interest to ensure a balanced distribution of medals. As a Chelsea fan I’m not happy about your insinuation. I’m not happy that I’m being invited to draw negatives from these Olympics when the dust hasn’t even settled on the glorious British performances yet either. This is not the time or the place for this discussion so can we just enjoy it please Mr. Munro?

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  • 157. At 1:24pm on 19 Aug 2008, Jozzy10 wrote:

    Fantastic, Fantastic, Fantastic! Ive enjoyed every second of the track cycling. What a team, all of them. riders, coaches, mechanics and all others involved. This has been something very very special, a once in a lifetime event to experience. To hear us described by other national coaches as "animals of the track" warms my heart! Long may it continue. A real pack of vicious British Lions! Rule Britannia!!

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  • 158. At 1:24pm on 19 Aug 2008, iGlad wrote:

    "We have a World Cup in Copenhagen in two years time, and if one country is too dominant, it could decrease interest maybe."

    Utter tosh, has attendance at International cricket matches decreased as a result of the all conquering Aussies, I think not.

    Also don't expect the GB cyclist to remain dominant forever as the others will catch up eventually, things never stay the same in most sports. My only exception to that would be the Cubans in the world of amateur boxing (world and Olympic competition).

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  • 159. At 1:25pm on 19 Aug 2008, NorfolkMatt wrote:

    I do not know why I read this blog, if your thoughts are correct then the following must be true: Swimming is boring because of Phelps, Golf is boring because of Woods, 100 metres was boring because Bolt was so dominant.

    We should bask in the glory it is not often that a British team is hailed as the worlds best. They have been awesome, amazing on a different planet to the competition. If only Gymnastics was managed in a similar way we could be up there with the likes of China and the USA. We need to take on the model of the British Cycling Federation and invoke it into every other Olympic Sport and then maybe 2012 will produce something even more special for us.

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  • 160. At 1:27pm on 19 Aug 2008, londonturbonutter wrote:

    This must surely be a wind up. We finally achieve dominance in a sport and then the question of 'shouldn't we think of the other countries too'.

    I sometimes cannot believe the attitude of some of the people in the UK. We must play to win, what is wrong with that?

    Capitalise upon this dominance, as it will not last forever (nothing ever does, especially in sport). Get kids involved now and let them grow into winners.

    As for other countries, to be honest, its their problem not ours. Let them catch up with us. We lag behind in so many 'premier' sports and have little hope of catching up, so refocus on sports like scycling as its obvious that we have the talent

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  • 161. At 1:30pm on 19 Aug 2008, Nessun Dorma wrote:

    I can't believe the question has even been asked. Already! How typically British to complain when our athletes fail and complain when our athletes dominate.

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  • 162. At 1:31pm on 19 Aug 2008, poundforpound wrote:

    What a ridiculous blog, I know that it is intended to promote discussion, but nonetheless!!

    We spend years and years enduring sporting mediocrity, celebrating scant little success and now that we are finally getting things right in certain sports, we are supposed to feel ashamed???

    Maybe you should ask the athletes if they would give some of their medals back, medals they have dedicated their lives towards achieving.

    Actually while you are there, pehaps the Chinese will share some of their Gymnastics medals out and as for Michael Phelps, 8 Gold Medals for 1 man - he doesn't need all of them surely???

    We should celebrate our successes when we have them, not feel embarrassed by them - they have been too long in coming and who knows how long they will last.

    And as for feeling sorry for some dejected Aussies, well, I've never met an Aussie yet who hasn't taken great glee in ramming their supporting achievments down everybody else's throats - particularly when such success has come at the expense of the British.

    Perhaps in victory it is an opportunity to give them a lesson in respect and humility as well.....

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  • 163. At 1:32pm on 19 Aug 2008, man_from_milan wrote:

    Well done Britain for all the medals.

    I must say I don't rate track cycling because engineering has got more to do with it than the athlete. The same holds for archery, shooting, and sailing.

    But hey, you focused on the disciplines which would increase the medal haul, achieved what you set out to do, so well done.

    At least it wasn't dressage or curling this time :-)

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  • 164. At 1:40pm on 19 Aug 2008, ProudofbeingBritish wrote:

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  • 165. At 1:42pm on 19 Aug 2008, AlricDark wrote:

    Yes, blogs are made to encourage this sort of discussion but why is it necessary to make GB as a nation look stupid in the process?

    Go to any corner of the world, to any sporting event in which a GB competitor is taking part and there will be British fans there in support. If you look at the major sporting championships, we're often the largest contingent of fans in attendance after the host nation whether or not (and for years it was definitely not) we had a chance of winning.

    So finally, we're the best at something. Lets not question it, lets not look for problems where there are none, lets just glory in the acheivement. We've waited a long long time for this.

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  • 166. At 1:42pm on 19 Aug 2008, noinotsporty wrote:

    Just get behind the TEAM. The whole of the GB Team, or go home, shut yourself off from the little success arrived at, and let someone who will say Good on you, GB. Whose next. Pick up the baton and go with it, try and get more.

    Okay, maybe you were joking, whose knows, but keep putting people down, and eventually, joking or not, people feel that way.

    Have fun Team GB.

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  • 167. At 1:44pm on 19 Aug 2008, Tom Sams wrote:

    How typically British.

    Finally we have reached a point in a sport where we are genuinely untouchable. 12 medals out of 10 events and here we are worrying about whether all the other nations will be upset and lose interest in competing.

    In Athens the Aussies won 5 golds and i'm sure they'll be smarting when we have not only smashed them in a sport they previously dominated but also (hopefully) finish above them in the overall medal table. I'm sure they'll be taking more than a slight interest in humbling us on our home turf in four years time.

    Lets face facts. Are the Chinese going to be worrying about the fact that the table tennis and the gymnastics has, for the most part, been one sided? Or are the USA going to tell Phelps that he can't possibly compete in that many events again as it will make it boring for everyone else?

    Why, when we are finally in a position to be unbelievably proud of our whole team are we suddenly trying to make excuses to become average again. A number of other sports should learn and become more dominant from the example of our cyclists rather than us worrying about whether dominating events fair and square is the 'proper' thing to do.

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  • 168. At 1:47pm on 19 Aug 2008, Dr_Eyelash wrote:

    To me, James wasn't knocking the British cycling team's success.

    He simply used the Danish team leader's matter-of-fact statement to highlight the fact that the dominance of one country in a sport could ultimately spell bad news for the sport as a whole.

    That is exactly what has happened with Olympic softball.

    So while you are hardly likely to hear any individual team or athlete say "sorry about being too good", that doesn't mean there aren't concerns within that sport's international administration that such dominance might lose it support or status at Olympic level.

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  • 169. At 1:50pm on 19 Aug 2008, ToranDell wrote:

    A silly article for all of the reasons that others have mentioned. It's not good for us to win so much? For goodness sake. I'm damn proud of how well we are doing. I want us to do even better - especially in 2012.

    How typical of journalism today. Find the negative slant. This is more typical of your tabloid press; it's not what I want from the BBC. You might be trying to be provacative, James - will you get paid extra for generating so much interest? The trouble is too many people take note of this sort of attitude and believe the negative. If there were medals for moaning then the British would win them.

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  • 170. At 1:50pm on 19 Aug 2008, Trev9999 wrote:

    Do the Americans or Chinese worry about winning too much? Or offending other nations by having their anthem played too many times?

    Of course they don't. Only archetypical 'Guardian reader' types worry about this sort of rubbish. They would ban competitive sport if they could, so no one feels like they've lost!

    We should be celebrating that our cyclists have put in the hard work for many years and now are the best in the world. Long may it continue!!

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  • 171. At 1:51pm on 19 Aug 2008, Moutarde wrote:

    I wonder if the author has noticed the difference between this and other "controversial" blogs such as Matt Slater's? If he hasn't, I'll clear it up for him: on this blog, not a single person out of 100 posts agrees with the author, on other blogs, some people are on one side and others on the other.

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  • 172. At 1:53pm on 19 Aug 2008, Bravosdad wrote:

    You know what; we're going to be disliked by some simply for being British, so why not win a sackfull of medals (particularly those nice, shiny gold ones) and give them something to really dislike us for?!

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  • 173. At 2:03pm on 19 Aug 2008, imperialGwizard wrote:

    If this article is meant to be tongue in cheek as 13 suggests, what a pathetic and very ‘British’ reaction to sporting success.

    James if have to feel embarrassed about something, just read through the comments to your blog

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  • 174. At 2:06pm on 19 Aug 2008, Geoff wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 175. At 2:07pm on 19 Aug 2008, Gazza0303 wrote:

    I thought the Olympics (and athletics in general) were meant to be about doing the best you possibly can. Your article is suggesting we slow down so we don't monopolise the sport.

    How about the rest of the world catch us up instead of us slowing down?

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  • 176. At 2:09pm on 19 Aug 2008, Gazza0303 wrote: you think We should put a weight on Phelps' back because i bet he's not embarrassed to be the best in the world!

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  • 177. At 2:11pm on 19 Aug 2008, deeside_bikie wrote:

    Re 113: Drugs in sport, whilst cycling has opened its doors and taken its flak with regards drug abuse, at last it seems to be getting its house in order. A few years back there was 'Operation Puerto (memory fails me!)' in Spain which resulted in Ullrich and others missing the TDF. However as usual the press and media ignored the other 'sports people' that were implicated. Where was the usual media witch hunt for all those cheats!

    On Saturday morning after taking my eldest daughter to the gym and whilst waiting I spent some time on the running machine. Two young lads next to me changed the satellite channel from one of the cycling finals to watch some breaking news media coverage that some premier footballer had changed his nail polish sponsor to another brand. A quick few words from an elder statesman put them in their place and got it changed back to coverage of a 'real sport'.

    On Sunday morning at some un-godly hour daughter number two (who never gets up before 2pm on the weekend) comes into the bedroom to wake mum and dad up and states 'another gold medal in the cycling, were 3 rd or 4th in the medal tables'. Says it all for the positive effect all these winners are having on the British young. She might even get out on the bike with her dad shes so impressed by all those fit looking men/boys in tight lycra.

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  • 178. At 2:17pm on 19 Aug 2008, cibusboy wrote:

    looks like i'm agreeing with 99% of the comments posted here. This article makes my blood boil.
    also in response to #168 - do you think diving, table tennis and weightlifting will be struck of the Olympic sport list because China are so utterly dominant? or archery removed because Korea win so much?
    sorry Usain - you're too good at sprinting, so we'll take out the 100m until you retire.

    just take a look at all the other sports' medals tables and you'll see that other nations have their strengths and weaknesses, and our strength right now happens to be cycling. If the other cycling teams are talking about giving up then how pathetic an attitude is that?

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  • 179. At 2:30pm on 19 Aug 2008, JohhnyP wrote:

    I keep hearing reference to the Aussies being disparaging about our abilities in sitting down sports but they’re not in a position to criticise. I’ve just gone through the medal table and, at the moment, they have 34 medals

    21 they earned lying down – swimming and prone rifle

    9 they earned sitting – sailing, rowing, equestrian, cycling and canoe

    2 from the triathlon which is a third lying and a third sitting

    1 from walking – 20km

    And 1 from synchronised diving which is really just 2 people falling over together

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  • 180. At 2:31pm on 19 Aug 2008, gilmart wrote:

    Ah, only the British are so fair play as to wonder if we're doing too well! Believe me, I live in France..........and I'm savouring every minute of the UK victories. But what is really fantastic - and this takes me back to my first comment about fair play - is the fact that all the athletes are incredibly humble and modest. There's never a word against other competitors, no national rivalry ever comes across, never any jubilation over opponents who have lost. Maybe we're a bit self-effacing from time to time, but as someone who has lived abroad for many years , take my word for it, it's far better and more attractive to be as we are than to get arrogant. Stay just as you are Britain, there aren't many countries like us. And our athletes - supreme in their performance, unsurpassed in their gentlemanly approach and attitude. Hats off!

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  • 181. At 2:32pm on 19 Aug 2008, Royulson wrote:

    James, you unfortunately have allowed your position at the BBC to go your head.

    I once worked for that great donut in West London, but have become more and more increasingly embarrased by it's silent and deliberate dropping of the first B in BBC.

    If the corporation carries on the way yourself and fellow journos would have it, (I can think of most of Five Live and the majority of the BBC Editorial front line news team) then the guardianista, pc brigade that dominates a once great organisation, will wake up one day as employees of the E.B.C (Euro) or maybe just the N.L.B.C (New Labour) take your pick!

    I realise good blogs fire the debate, but surely not at the expense of displaced national pride. James, if you wanted embarrassment, why not let the headline read "I'd be embarrassed to be Frank Lampard, Paula Radcliffe, Australian....

    Enjoy your Britishness whilst we've still got it, take pride in success when it comes our way (because it is like a comet!). Indulge the winning ethos that has arrived at these shores and nurture, love and build upon it.

    Thankyou Sir Steve Redgrave, Chris Boardman, Dame Kelly Holmes, Ben Ainslie...focussed winners who have mixed their gritty Britishness, with the arrogant belief of the Americans and the dedication of the Chinese; you have helped breed this generation of Giants.

    Thankyou to the Lottery that has helped reverse the national trend from the culture of land grabbing our kids playing fields for short financial gain. Future goverments take note: a full stomach makes happy man. Fill your boots (or stomachs!) with gold and the whole nation smiles again!

    James, I suggest that you and some of your editorial colleagues at the BBC take a long hard look at the way you cover sport, politics and news in general. Remember the first B is for Britain not against it!

    Never be ashamed or embarrased, enjoy and bask in the golden glow. It may last a generation and we will all feel its warmth.

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  • 182. At 2:39pm on 19 Aug 2008, IndaUK wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 183. At 2:40pm on 19 Aug 2008, cycleflem wrote:

    I'm also getting tired of the reaction from some quarters against cycling. They've taken the money and done the right thing with it and hey presto now have the rewards. A job very well done.

    But now we get the embarrassed pundits and others suggesting it might be detrimental. Even worse are the commentators from athletics (Ovett and Akabusi being two) who are saying the medals in cycling and rowing are all down to the money and it would of course be much harder to achieve this in track and field events. Then they start to navel gaze about what needs to happen before 2012 to ensure UK athletics success. Sorry folks - but the cyclists put in ferocious efforts to beat world class competition too - its really quite pathetic to start playing the 'our sport is harder than your sport' game, and it's too late to think you can change anything before 2012 now. You would have needed the structures and changes in place by now.

    So I'm looking forward to 2012, I might even go to the velodrome and road races, but I think I'll give the athletics a miss - there' a high chance the ratio of whinging pundits and navel gazing past stars to British medals will be too high.

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  • 184. At 2:40pm on 19 Aug 2008, taylorround wrote:

    I have been reading the blogs during the Olympics and never replied to anything but this entry has incensed me.
    What an utterly ridiculous comment to make and shame on the BBC for publishing such a poor piece of journalism

    Why can’t we just be pleased that we are actually excelling at a sport for a change?

    British cyclists have been struggling to get funding for years and the athletes had to work day jobs as well as fitting in all their training. The lottery money was needed as the sport didn’t get as higher profile in the country as football or cricket.

    I doubt very much if the England football team actually managed to win a Euro or World cup that a journalist would make such a stupid comment.

    As for the other countries comments its just sour grapes!

    This winning streak can only encourage others to take up the sport and to be frank this country desperately need more children to take part in physical activities. In a newspaper report this morning it states that bicycle sales are up 30% due to the games.
    Let’s celebrate the outstanding achievement of these athletes while we have the chance to.

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  • 185. At 2:43pm on 19 Aug 2008, agatha79 wrote:

    Isn't everyone perhaps over-reacting just a little to James Munro's blog? I am at least as proud as any other armchair spectator watching our red hot cycling team' progress and, watching Chris Hoy on the podium this morning I was almost in tears myself. This doesn't mean that I can't spare a thought for the disappointment of other competitors.

    It is a recognised British characteristic to feel for the underdog and I see nothing wrong with that. I can assure you that it certainly doesn't mean that I am unaware of the sheer physical hard slog and, no doubt, many sacrifices involved in becoming a successful athlete of any discipline. All the Lottery money in the world and the most sublime of facilities is no substitute for the hunger to succeed that all our cyclists obviously have. I salute them all!

    By the way, thanks to Simon Brooke and cyclespur for mentioning Jason McIntyre. He has been on my mind a lot throughout the cycling and I have not heard his name mentioned by any commentator.

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  • 186. At 2:53pm on 19 Aug 2008, englandcomeon wrote:

    Isn't everyone perhaps over-reacting just a little to James Munro's blog?

    Very possibly, but to be honest it really is the wrong time to post something like this up.

    I was taken aback by Britain being 3rd in the medal table ahead of sport obsessed nations like Australia and Germany!!!

    How weird is that, how come we've have improved so much???

    The last thing needed at present however is for a BBC journo to tell us we ought to be embarrassed, whatever next???

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  • 187. At 2:55pm on 19 Aug 2008, beanbaguk wrote:

    Why for goodness sake are we even questioning this!?

    "Are we too good?"

    So much for "Great" Britain. I'm sure we lost that years ago because we're too scared to be great any longer.

    Perhaps we should have made sure the team compromised of a White, Black, Asian, Muslim and Christian person???

    These guys worked their hearts out for themselves and their country. Now can we all quit with this "are we too good" attitude and accept we are good and revel in it.

    One of the things I hate about modern Britain is this pathetic political correctness, and "modesty". It's sad and totally counter-productive against us all as a nation.

    As a journalist and reporter, you should be ashamed of yourself for even bringing up such a subject.

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  • 188. At 2:59pm on 19 Aug 2008, FreddieCT wrote:

    Cycling has obviously raised Team GB's morale and put us on a streak.

    7 Golds on Cycling alone and the 2nd place only has 1 gold?

    Well done on the cycling team. I suspect loads of young athletes taking up cycling soon so long as the media portrays it as a fantastic sport.

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  • 189. At 3:18pm on 19 Aug 2008, george1979 wrote:

    I am absolutely delighted with the BBC Sport coverage of the Olympics, absolutely spot on and well worth the licence fee. I didn't have interactive tv in 2004 and the red button has been a true revelation, not to mention the online coverage while at work!! However, what role does BBC News have to play there?

    With all those sports journalists on the ground why are James Munro and John Sopel both there giving short updates on the BBC news???

    I hope your flights and expenses are coming out of your own pocket and not out of mine!

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  • 190. At 3:22pm on 19 Aug 2008, briandayson wrote:

    The performance of the British Cycling Team surely makes them the team of the year - so let's start campaigning NOW to have them elected Sports Personality Award's Team of the Year.

    If the government truly wants to get our nation's youth off the sofa and into sport, there are few sports so easily accessible as cycling. BMX racing is a cool individual sport that appeals to young people who might be too non-conformist for traditional team sports - Shanaze Reade is a great role model, and don't foget Jamie Staff came from BMX to track cycling. And most kids already have a bike of some description.

    The government's support for elite sport is admirable, but grass roots need support too - the wider the base, the taller the pyramid. This is where local government can play it's part, by funding and supporting local clubs. Sports Development officers take note - be proactive!

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  • 191. At 3:40pm on 19 Aug 2008, alia_kel_aderon wrote:

    I can't believe anyone has seriously brought this issue up! Has anyone discussed how good Phelps is at swimming and entertained the idea that there will be no point in anyone else competing because he wins almost everything for the USA? I don't think so! It's typical British mentality again to question anything good that happens to us or is said about us. The Chinese, Americans and Australians certainly wouldn't apologise for success! And I, for one, am loving the sour grapes from the Australians (the sorest losers on the planet!)

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  • 192. At 3:44pm on 19 Aug 2008, plectic wrote:

    Hopefully we'll get BMX vert in the 2012 games. With Bestwick and Tabron. 2 more medals..

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  • 193. At 3:49pm on 19 Aug 2008, SeanieGilbo wrote:

    What an awful awful awful subject matter for a blog!!!

    Seriously, I can't believe anyone should every question "is too much winning a bad thing" - its pityful.

    Do Americans, Australians, Germans, Chinese think like that.... HELL NO!

    No wonder why we question why we're bad at sports when we have people within the Country who ask that kind of question. Lordy.

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  • 194. At 3:51pm on 19 Aug 2008, kleineman wrote:

    Ha ha ha. I do hope this is tongue in cheek. Otherwise this is a very silly, lazy article.

    Too good at cycling? I hope so. It is about time we dominated a sport. Perhaps now, with our domination of track cycling, Ms Cooke's continuing success and a serious sprint contender in the male peloton we could get some more cycling coverage on the telly. Maybe even a spring classic or two. No? Didn't think so.

    Oh and the last time I rode my bike it appeared to be powered by my legs. Money helps but if you put an average athlete on a great bike he / she is just that: an average athlete on a great bike. The British team are undoubtedly well funded but please don't demean their achievements by suggesting their victories where in anyway 'bought'.

    Dear Mr Editor: In future if Mr Munro decides he has a great idea for an article can someone please give him some Rooibos tea and send him to bed? Preferably with mittens taped to his hands so he cant get up to any typing-based mischief.

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  • 195. At 3:52pm on 19 Aug 2008, matt1il wrote:

    Were you also embarrassed for Phelps whilst winning his 8th Gold in one games on Sunday morning? Or Bolts strole to the line in all 4 of the 100m races?

    "Britain are the new Chelsea of the cycling world"

    I think you disproved your own point James with this statement as I seem to recall Chelsea not even being the best in their own country never mind the world, it's how you spend the money not how much is spent.

    We just happen to have the best squad where is the problem with that?

    Also I didn't notice Chris Hoy getting embarrassed this morning for winning his 3rd Gold in Beijing.

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  • 196. At 3:57pm on 19 Aug 2008, Cottis wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 197. At 3:58pm on 19 Aug 2008, siuphilip wrote:

    Don't get me wrong, I'll never tire of reading a British blog from an Olympic venue, as the Union Flag begins its journey up into the heavens.

    But that's five blogs I've read this week and there is a small part of me (OK a very small part), which feels a little embarrassed.

    Or should I bask in the glory of it all - in the knowledge that it can't last forever ......

    I think Munro should set the example and take a step back from blogging if he is presenting such viewpoints whilst working for a British corporation.

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  • 198. At 4:00pm on 19 Aug 2008, djWinwinwin wrote:

    Why is it that the moment that the British succeed at something there is always someone trying to make us feel bad and embarrassed about it. This article , even in jest is totally disrespectful to the extraordinary success British cyclists have achieved. Lets for once celebrate this amazing effort , even boast about it !!! British sporting success makes the whole nation feel good . We are the greatest nation in the world at turning something wonderful into something miserable, lets salute these great British athletes and bask in their reflected glory and there is no reason this should be short lived , this is a tremendous launch pad for continued British sporting greatness.

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  • 199. At 4:00pm on 19 Aug 2008, U11272213 wrote:

    It would seem to me that Mr Munro is preparing the party line for his masters, the BBC. For years BBC have maintained that they do not cover cycling as there is little success and no public interest. That argument has been adequately denied in this year's Olympics!

    So, what must BBC do? Avoid covering cycling because it is too sucessful and very anti-British to support success. Pity they did not apply the same policy to Football or Rugby Football played by the English XV


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  • 200. At 4:04pm on 19 Aug 2008, dansmith87 wrote:

    As has been reitarated in the comments, we should not be feeling embarrased for achieving great success in one particular sport, it is up to the other countries to try and reach the same level as us.

    I just hope that this cycling success can gradually been turned into road racing success and maybe even get us some cyclists joining Mark Cavendish and winning stages of the Tour de France.

    From this point our next generation of cyclists have been given a great platform to emulate the current success.

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  • 201. At 4:08pm on 19 Aug 2008, theworldismad wrote:

    I am stunned. Truly stunned. Can we, just for once, be proud of our achievements. If our athletes perform badly then we bitterly bemoan out lot accusing our athletes of not being bothered or working hard. If Team GB is successful we tell the world how embarrassed we are that the flag is flying high and proud. Perhaps the question should be 'are we ever satisfied?' rather than 'are we too good'. I am so proud of Team GB - they've been an inspiration to us all. With 2012 around the corner is it possible we can rally for our athletes and support them in the hopes that next time we'll be even better? Heaven forbid!!!!

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  • 202. At 4:09pm on 19 Aug 2008, iainak2089 wrote:

    What a typically British thing to write about. Find negativity in our most positive Olympic result in a century. I could almost see that coming.

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  • 203. At 4:09pm on 19 Aug 2008, Carior wrote:

    NO, simple as.

    I as a spectator can appreciate the likes of Phelps winning and breaking WR and Usain Bolt breaking world records when its "monotonous" and it interests me when i have no realistic national interest. If i can manage to do that for those sports then i dont see how its my problem if the rest of the world cant enjoy GB breaking world records and pushing the limits.

    NO other nation on the track even got close to breaking the cycling world records and quite simply its up to other nations to peg back the gap. The US i am sure have higher levels of funding potentially available to them so surely they, if no one else, should have the potential both financially and in potential talent to compete with GB. The rest of the world should quit whining spend their time training hard like the GB lads have done.

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  • 204. At 4:24pm on 19 Aug 2008, eQuilliser wrote:

    Don't get me wrong, I'll never tire of the BBC, but aren't they a little too good at being ashamed to be British? A gold medal for you, James. Don't be embarrassed, you earned it.

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  • 205. At 4:25pm on 19 Aug 2008, jojo_35 wrote:

    Isnt this typical of us British! We finally get something right, a culmination of the funding, training, facilities and hard work by the athletes and we are questioning it!!!
    We should celebrate our successes and make sure that whatever we are doing in cycling, rowing and sailing is translated into the sports that arent doing so well.
    Can you imagine what the reaction would be with London just 4 years away if we finished way down the medals table. We should sit back and enjoy the next few days and then start preparing for the next one!

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  • 206. At 4:34pm on 19 Aug 2008, Taggingalong wrote:

    Too good?? Puhleese!

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  • 207. At 4:58pm on 19 Aug 2008, Elpenor wrote:

    I agree, totally ridiculous blog. How typically British that some feel the need to be apologetic and embarrassed when the British team is actually good at something!

    I think this journalist, like most others, would've been far happier writing complaining 'what went wrong' blogs if the British team failed.

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  • 208. At 5:06pm on 19 Aug 2008, stopthepress wrote:

    Look mate, if you're that embarrassed by British success then don't watch it. Pathetic.

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  • 209. At 5:17pm on 19 Aug 2008, mrchelsea69 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 210. At 5:17pm on 19 Aug 2008, Jaujeno wrote:

    I suggest that there was a greater chance that Bradley Wiggins was embarrassed today after the Madison than he was after winning his 2nd Gold Medal in the Team Pursuit.

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  • 211. At 5:31pm on 19 Aug 2008, jollygrandsamster wrote:

    so what if Team GB has had a lot of success in cycling - at least the money was well spent as opposed to the track and field guys who are always complaining about something when things don't go right

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  • 212. At 5:36pm on 19 Aug 2008, InfiniteBadger wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 213. At 5:44pm on 19 Aug 2008, tommy wrote:

    Mindset and Psychology seem to have everything to do with winning in all sports. It seems that there has been a sea change in the GB team's approach to this. I would argue that the previous attitudes in British sport attributed to the losses and near-misses of the past. Therefore, if the team have changed their attitudes and approach isn't about time the Press and public did so too?

    Perhaps if as a nation we stopped looking for the catch or the "but..." when we do well in something, we will continue to do well.
    A win is a win, something that does not need questioning.

    I think we, as a nation, have always been capable of this, but the success of this Olympics only encourages other nations to up their own games, and a new generation of heroes.

    Olympic Medal winning British athletes deserve World Class journalism, isn't it about time British Journalists took a leaf out of their subjects' books...

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  • 214. At 6:27pm on 19 Aug 2008, preciousinformer wrote:

    I'm sorry but aren't you getting a little too ahead of yourself?

    GB barely made any impact in the 2000 Olympics (maybe 3 medals total for cycling?) when the Australians were actually competitive.

    Athens though was a bit better and Beijing was definitely an improvement mainly because neither Australia or America (a noticeable omission) were in full force. Wait till these guys come back and we shall see whether the British cycling team is truly great. We're not talking about the kind of dominance we see from the Chinese in table tennis, badminton and gymnastics, or the Jamaicans in track and field. I mean, these are the kind of life long dominance that we've feared for years.

    Winning is winning however, and for some of these guys who competed in 2000 and 2004, they deserved it.

    Lets hope that they can carry that winning spirit in the tour de france and London 2012.

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  • 215. At 6:29pm on 19 Aug 2008, preciousinformer wrote:


    We're world class as critics where everything comes into play, race, age, ugliness..the lot.

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  • 216. At 6:49pm on 19 Aug 2008, editorsfoot wrote:

    Wasn't Munro on the news tonight saying something a bit different, double standards James?

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  • 217. At 6:53pm on 19 Aug 2008, tommyfisk wrote:

    Could we possibly pour some lottery funding into a Bletchley-style boffin camp to crack the rules of that Madison thingy...?

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  • 218. At 7:30pm on 19 Aug 2008, Greg wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 219. At 7:33pm on 19 Aug 2008, DoftheM wrote:

    Not dominant enough - did not do well in the Madison - something to correct in 2012.

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  • 220. At 8:16pm on 19 Aug 2008, popefridge wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 221. At 8:17pm on 19 Aug 2008, Angiehipwell wrote:

    I am proud to be British and its about time that we heard the National Anthem being played at such a great sporting event, so many times. To be third in the medals table is a great achievement and I think that is something to be proud of.

    Reading this article gives me the impression that James Munro is not proud in his country and not supporting our athletes.

    If James Munro is so obviously not proud to be British and to share in our success at the Games then he has no business doing the job he does.

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  • 222. At 8:21pm on 19 Aug 2008, popefridge wrote:

    Britain has always been capable of this. The difference is that in Australia sport is all they have, over here we are a european hub, a thriving job market and a country of vibrant culture. Sport is just catching up to where it should be for a rich country which generally excels at whatever it puts its minds to.

    It is a shame that for so many years we had to put up with politicians and council leaders who looked upon sports with contempt (no doubt bitterness over their own failings), now we have a better attitude to sport, with better funding and it is paying off.

    Sorry aussies, but you just got destroyed and you are running out of obscure sports with which to hide your inferiority complex.

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  • 223. At 8:26pm on 19 Aug 2008, calblogms wrote:

    Funny blog. To us Americans. Great that GB has done so well in this sport. If GB keeps mind and money on it, you should always have indoor team cycling on us, anyway. It's too off radar here, where our sprawl and weather prompt other stuff. Of course our coverage is too U.S. centric, made all the worse by the time zone and highlights. Winning is so big here, you're basically a loser with silver. Embrace your killer instincts, GB! You can still dominate and retain the best of being British -- good sportsmanship, losing with grace, not trash talking and blaming such and such. Part of the deification of Phelps here includes his being a nice, doofy, decent kid who's also a good teammate.

    So Britain. Go out there and nicely kick some Olympic butt. You got some other game plan for 2012?

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  • 224. At 9:06pm on 19 Aug 2008, Habs24 wrote:

    i think we are too good at track cycling

    and not good enough on the roads

    the RR an TT proved that, never in his days would Jan Ullrich, Christophe Moreu or Axel Merckx have withdrawn

    but team GB bottled it because 'it was too long'

    shame on them

    we need to invest the track millions in the road bunch as thats where it matters, having the WORLD CHAMPION on the Road race and TT

    the Maglia Rosa and Maillot Jaune

    not some world track championships disc, any fool can ride round a velodrome, Andy Schleck, Alberto Contador, Charlie Wegelius, riders with real skill

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  • 225. At 9:20pm on 19 Aug 2008, xenosys2005 wrote:

    Too good? Tut tut, come on now.

    It's true, the British team have been absolutely dominant and quite simply on another planet at the velodrome this year. The British public have witnessed first-hand what proper funding, a good set-up and some talented athletes can do when given a super platform to build upon. In no way should we be apologetic for any other nations' inabilities to match that standard set.

    If anything, the British cycling team have set a new benchmark for other countries to follow and it's now up to them, and them alone to compete.

    The UK Athletics team and other under-performing sports in Great Britain would do well to use the blueprint for success the Cycling team created and transfer it over to their own sport to emulate that.

    Well Done guys and arise Sir Chris Hoy.

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  • 226. At 9:46pm on 19 Aug 2008, Pugdog wrote:

    Utter nonsense: we should be basking in vicotory. Do the New Zealanders worry when they win at Rugby? The yanks winnign their old world series. Forget the navel gazing and enjoy the moment. SPort is about competition not philosophy...

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  • 227. At 10:03pm on 19 Aug 2008, stevebinkl wrote:

    GB cycling team we salute you ! As a Pom who has lived in Australia, this is great. Do you think they are embarrassed when their swimmers dominate ? It's all over the media.
    Just shows what happens when you put in a world class facility like the track at Manchester and get top coaches.
    Nice to see 'minority sports' leading the way.
    Well done GB rowers and sailors too.

    Don't think we'll win the Ashes back though !

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  • 228. At 10:22pm on 19 Aug 2008, KirstyMHarris wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 229. At 10:52pm on 19 Aug 2008, Rob Olivier wrote:

    If UK Cycling is to stay outstanding, they NEED TO KEEP SHAUN SUTTON (Austalian coach))as performance manager. He is the kinpin and ruthless competive mentor to UK cycling that is pushing these elite cyclists further.

    In four years time major cycling teams from Australia, US, Germany, France, Italy, Spain will be stepping up several gears, modelling GB's set up and pushing all UK cyclists.

    Galgrath (US economist) said to maintain one's position/advantage; one needs to stay one step ahead of the pack.

    UK cycling need Sutton's team motivation, keep the cutting edge and renew the talent and performance for 2012. In 4 years time we don't want to lose this Kevin Shine figure and make the same underperforming Australia failures after Sydney/Athens cycling successes.

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  • 230. At 11:06pm on 19 Aug 2008, 2ndRowGriff wrote:

    I am ashamed at the article.......... This is the sort of clap trap that used to spouted forth at any sports meet...

    It goes along the same lines as 'it's not the winning that matters, it's the taking part' A load of rubbish - these athletes inspire hundreds to try to emulate - they upset the opposition who walk off in a huff because they lost - but the losers of every other nation seem to be driven by never losing again - Only in the UK can the media keep foisting the idea that we can too good at something...

    Please Mr Munro - update your blog - justify the position...... Britain wants and needs WINNERS

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  • 231. At 11:41pm on 19 Aug 2008, Jeunes wrote:

    As an australian, I must congratulate the british on their brilliance at the track. unfortunately our aussie broadcaster (who are getting a lot of criticism for not showing all the other events) tend to focus on the aussie competitors only.

    What puzzles most people is why do Britain field a combined team in the olympics but compete as individual nations in commonwealth games,football world cup, rugby union world cup, cricket etc.

    I thought that nationalistic pride would ensure that england, scotland, wales and northern ireland compete as individual countries.

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  • 232. At 11:52pm on 19 Aug 2008, redcarexile wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 233. At 02:24am on 20 Aug 2008, foolsgold953 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 234. At 04:25am on 20 Aug 2008, ps10005 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 235. At 08:40am on 20 Aug 2008, RobertHK wrote:

    Are we to good at cycling? What a stupid question. Living in China has opened my eyes to how sport is viewed by other nations. I will guarantee that there is not a single Chinese person watching the Olympics thinking are we to good, with our 44 gold medals. Cycling has come a long way in the past 8 years since the Sydney games, and to ask stupid questions like this one is demeaning to the athletes who have spent those 8 years training for these two weeks. I say well done to everyone at Team GB and long may it continue.

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  • 236. At 10:03am on 20 Aug 2008, BeijingLondon wrote:

    Oh no!

    I can promise you that China is jealous and would go any length to lay its hand on a cycling medal, even a bronze!

    If you read Chinese, just go to any of the Chinese websites to see how China is proud of that cycling bronze the lady won yesterday. It's claimed to be history being created.

    I think some Brits are just not used to being on top, and a success of this scale just makes them feel unrealistic. :-)

    Get used to it, just like China to diving, weightlifting and shooting.

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  • 237. At 10:20am on 20 Aug 2008, deeside_bikie wrote:

    In the cycling press there has been some discussion about Sky's future sponsorship of cycling. Lets hope this does'nt make cycling a premium rate channel viewing sport.

    How can we be too good when we are not number 1 in the medals?

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  • 238. At 10:43am on 20 Aug 2008, BeijingLondon wrote:

    I'm lucky to call both China and the UK home, to see both hugely improving on the medal table.

    People in China are never embarassed by their clean sweep of everything in Diving and table tennis, although there are suggestions and China should help other countries to improve in these disciplines as China has had a complete dominance for years, making the sports become less competitive from a spectators perspective.

    As for cycling, I think GBR should do better! These is nothing to be embarassed about.

    2012 is around the corner and I'd love to see GBR to go beyond 30 golds then! To achieve that, you've got to have a few dominating sports, like the US in swimming and China in diving and gymnastics etc., guarantted golds.

    Go for it, GBR!

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  • 239. At 11:03am on 20 Aug 2008, 00delorean00 wrote:

    How is it that Great Britain can compete at The Games as a Union, instead of as it's component countries?? I mean really, if tiny Pacific islands have to compete on their own, surely England Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland can do the same. Other nations view the British medal count with a wry grin...

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  • 240. At 3:44pm on 20 Aug 2008, Board14 wrote:

    This edges off topic but...
    why shouldn't we enter as one country, this way we get more medals especially in the team events as we have a larger pool of sportspeople to draw on.
    Although i do wonder why we are known as Great Britain, surely it should be the UK, i.e including northern ireland?

    Anyway long may our cycling success continue.
    Am i right in thinking all our track cyclists have won a medal, save one who 'only' won 4 stages of the TdF a month ago?!

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  • 241. At 6:46pm on 20 Aug 2008, EarlyMel wrote:

    James Munro? Who is he? Ah well never mind, after the Olympics are over he will be consigned to oblivion,no doubt, but our Olympic cycling medalists will stay on the record books for ever.
    Tongue in Cheek James Munro, don't spoil the party mate, what's your Olympic discipline anyway?

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  • 242. At 8:24pm on 20 Aug 2008, Mclemens wrote:

    You're kidding right? This article is sarcasm right? It's about time British athletes are dominant in a sport, I couldn't careless about an Aussie camera crew who are disappointed in their team... they ram it down our throats every time they get (which is quite often)... I just wish they success would translate to other sports getting their arses in gear... a Wimbledon champion, a national team that goes somewhere in the World Cup... why should we feel guilty about winning?

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  • 243. At 9:58pm on 20 Aug 2008, bizarreohdear wrote:

    So why has the BBC decided to delete my previous comments made on this blog? and along with a lot of other posters.

    My post had no abuse no foul language or was not threatening.
    I questioned the motive and responsibility of such a post?

    Why would a BBC journalist who is at that Olympics at this time want to make such a blog. In my opinion I asked for an apology to the post?

    I also asked what the athletes would think?

    So why has this been deleted?

    Does the BBC or the controller of this blog seem to forget that your a public funded corporation and as we live in a democracy, so why cannot we have our opinions posted.

    The BBC has a great site and has given great coverage of the games, but as for this blog, who knows??

    Why couldn’t the post of only spoken about the great national pride at present, people all talking about how good we are doing? And this is our best performance at a games in a long time.
    And what happens? A depressing blog about negatives.

    Well done team GB.

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  • 244. At 12:29pm on 22 Aug 2008, expatintx wrote:

    Lol, they deleted my previous post as well.

    This is the politically correct BBC and they would say the house rules don't allow personal attacks in any way, shape or form.

    I guess all the deleted posts pose questions about Mr Munro's capacity to produce a worthy article.

    The number of deletions answer that I think!

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