Rivals look beyond London as Brits snare more gold

French track team bosses are already looking towards the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. The only consolation is they are not alone.

On the penultimate day of track cycling at the Olympic velodrome Gregory Bauge found himself in the unfamiliar position of second place on the podium after failing to beat Jason Kenny to the coveted sprint gold.

It gave Britain their fifth gold medal from the seven finals held so far and with three strong riders in the last three races on Tuesday the hosts could make it eight from 10.

While Bauge tried to digest his major loss to a man he had beaten in the final of the last two world championships, his coach Florian Rousseau was gracious in defeat.

"Physically, Greg was in better condition than he was at the world championships. In the end, he was just beaten, that's all," said Rousseau.

"Our objective was to win two gold medals, in the sprint and the team sprint: now we have two silver, which remain Olympic medals but, when you've been world champion four times, it's difficult to swallow.

"But we have to remain dignified. It's an Olympic medal. We just hoped it would be a different colour."

Previously considered unstoppable, Bauge says he will now "think over" whether he will remain in the sport or, as mentioned previously, switch to another track and become a 100m sprinter.

But he was bitter in defeat: "I've dominated my discipline for the past four years, and I wanted gold. I do not train twice a day for this disappointment."

And he carried his frustrations over to the post-race press conference where, to the astonishment of journalists, he took to questioning Kenny.

Kenny added a first individual Olympic title to add to the team sprint titles he has won with Britain in the past two Olympics.

Having been given the nod to represent Britain in the sprint over defending champion Sir Chris Hoy only a month ago, the 24-year-old Englishman took his chance with both hands.

While he worked on his own condition and finishing speed in the lead-up to the Games, Britain's track team did the rest by feeding him information from video evidence on his key rivals.

But the hard work was put in well before Monday.

"We've been working really hard the last six months to bridge that gap and just get faster, really. It's nice to turn up here and see that you've bridged that gap," said Kenny.

When it comes to resources, financial and otherwise, Britain are way ahead of their rivals.

Rousseau, who like Bauge was beaten the last time a Frenchman made the Olympic final -- by American Marty Nothstein, in 2000 -- refused to be drawn on suggestions that Britain are employing illicit methods.

"There are tangible things you can see, like the material they have. But behind that there's also a lot of hard work, discipline, and a lot of money and human resources," added Rousseau.

"Maybe we will never know how they're prepared for these Games. At the end of the day, what they've done is even better than what they achieved four years ago. Yes, it's even better."

Britain will aim for more track gold on Tuesday's final day at the velodrome in the women's omnium, with Laura Trott, and sprint with Victoria Pendleton.

Hoy, meanwhile, could pick up a sixth Olympic gold if he defends his men's keirin title, a feat that would push him past Sir Steve Redgrave's British record of five Olympic golds.


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