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Laoshan Velodrome, Beijing

The performance of the British team pursuiters is still floating around my head even after a night's sleep.

They have been contenders and medallists at World Championship and Olympic level for around a decade now, but finally pulled off the big one after winning a bronze medal in Sydney and silver in Athens.

To do it in a world-record time of three minutes 53.314 seconds was jaw-droppingly good - it was more than eight second faster than their silver-medal winning time in Athens and just short of five seconds faster than the Australians who beat them to gold.

But the thing that strikes me is there's every chance Britain will be just as competitive in four years' time.

Continue reading "Next generation of GB cyclists already looking good for 2012"

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I'm just getting my breath back after another special day at the Laoshan velodrome that will stay with me for a very long time

Three medal events, two golds, a silver and two bronze, with gold and silver guaranteed in the women's pursuit on Sunday as well!

Every rider in the British team to appear on the track so far has managed to win a medal, but leading the way on the first two days of competition has been the unofficial leader of the team, Chris Hoy.

Continue reading "Hoy the pick of GB's golden bunch"

Nicole Cooke pulled off the biggest victory of her life thanks to a combination of ability, tactical nous and sheer guts.

We knew she had the ability to win before the start in downtown Beijing, but in road cycling that's only one part of the equation.

It's a tactical sport and even if you are the strongest rider in the field, you won't necessarily win unless you ride intelligently.

Chase everything all day and you will be a spent force when it really matters.

Continue reading "Gold confirms Cooke's cycling talent"


Finding out the exact route of Saturday's men's cycling road race has been less than straight forward this week.

Maps are vague and inexact and you do sense that of all the events here at the Games, the road race is not one to which the Chinese hosts easily relate.

Our Chinese driver had numerous conversations with policemen and assorted roadside groups before we established what road we needed to be on near the Great Wall at Badaling.

Continue reading "Why 250km cycle route will favour Valverde"

I'm looking forward to meeting up with Chris Boardman again, who will be alongside me for all the cycling events in China.

When Chris won his Olympic Gold medal in Barcelona in 1992, it was Britain's first cycling gold since the tandem event at the Antwerp Games of 1920! (When Brits Harry Ryan and Thomas Lance finished the 2,000m course ahead of a South African duo).

A young Chris Boardman celebrates Olympic gold in 1992

How things have changed, with all the hope, hype and expectation surrounding the team this time round after their nine Track Cycling World Championship golds in March.

Chris's role was, and still is, key to the development of the sport in the UK and he also inadvertently helped me to establish full coverage of the Tour de France on BBC Radio.

Continue reading "How Boardman kickstarted British cycling's bandwagon"

I'm in Beijing for my fourth Olympic Games, commentating on cycling and boxing for BBC Radio 5 Live.

Some of you may know me primarily as a football commentator on TV's Match of the Day and on radio, but having covered the Tour de France 14 times and numerous world title fights over the past 15 years - as well as Olympic Games in Atlanta, Sydney and Athens - I feel at home in the velodrome and boxing hall.

Chris Boardman - Olympic champ in 1992 - is alongside me for all the cycling events in China.

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