Olympics: Wendy Houvenaghel blasts cycling team-mates & coach

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Wendy Houvenaghel criticises her GB team-mates and coach Shane Sutton after missing out on a gold medal.

Wendy Houvenaghel has criticised her GB team-mates and coach Shane Sutton after missing out on a gold medal.

The Northern Ireland rider was left out of all three team pursuit races as Dani King, Laura Trott and Jo Rowsell won gold in a world record time.

Houvenaghel described the trio as "juvenile", after claiming they did not speak to her following the final, and the decision to leave her out "unjust".

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GB women win team pursuit final at London 2012

Performance Director Dave Brailsford said decisions had been made on merit.

She added that she was denied a gold medal by Sutton's "very unjust" decision to leave her out.

Houvenaghel was selected along with King, Trott and Rowsell for the three-rider event, with three riders from the squad of four competing in each race.

Riders must compete in at least one of the races to be eligible for a medal and Houvenaghel claims she was told by GB staff that she would be competing in London.

The 37-year-old, who won silver in the 3km individual pursuit in Beijing in 2008, said that in pre-Olympics training she was a part of a team that went quicker than the world record set in Saturday's final.

After winning gold at the London Velodrome, Rowsell said that Houvenaghel had been "an integral part" of the team and that "she's been a great support so a big thank you to Wendy".

However, Houvenaghel was not so complimentary of her team-mates when asked what they said to her after securing the gold medal.

"The other girls said nothing to me - I find it disappointing," she added.

"I find it juvenile. I would have expected better of people who are now Olympic champions."

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Brailsford defends cycling selection

Houvenaghel said that she remained out of the team despite one of her team-mates being sick on the day of the semi-finals and final.

"She had been vomiting and possibly not at 100% effectiveness, so I thought at that point I will be riding.

"I was told to get ready for the final but with 30 minutes to go I was told 'you're not riding' by Shane Sutton.

"I couldn't change his mind - I had pointed out that one of our riders was sick and asked 'are you going to put her on the line again?'

"I had to accept it. I left the building and with it left behind Northern Ireland's next Olympic gold medal.

"I firmly believe I should have been riding and that medal was there to be taken, and I was prevented from having it by one person and one person's decision."

Houvenaghel said she will make a decision on her future in the sport when she returns home from the Games.

Dave Brailsford, Team GB Cycling's Performance Director, responded by saying that he and his team had to "take the personal element out of it, and look at the data and be professional".

"Our job is to be impartial - it's a tough job. We have to support the people on the track, try to win medals and we've had a few tough decisions to make.

"Unfortunately, in a squad there are always going to be people who miss out - that comes with the territory, everyone knows the score.

"As long as the decision-making is fair, impartial, and everyone understands the process, it can't be reproached.

"If people don't understand it and it's not quite clear and people think there might be some personal bias involved, then that's an issue.

"But I think when a team steps up and makes six world records on the trot and a gold medal, then I don't think you can argue with that."