Cycling: Hoy joy as Britain retain sprint title
LONDON (Reuters) - Britain retained their men's Olympic track cycling team sprint title when they beat France again in world record time in Thursday's final giving Chris Hoy his fifth Games gold medal.
Philip Hindes, Jason Kenny and Hoy were ahead from the start and clocked 42.600 seconds to slash 0.147 off the record they had set in the first round.
The London Velodrome exploded with joy when Hoy crossed his finish line before Michael d'Almeida, with the Briton starting a lap of honor after taking his helmet off.
"It's very overwhelming really. I thought my first win in Athens was the most memorable but this is my greatest win. We didn't expect to win," Hoy told reporters.
"We knew if we got it right we could do it. Coming into the Games has reminded me of Beijing four years ago. Everyone's been feeding off each other."
Germany took bronze by beating world champions Australia.
France were left shaking their heads in disbelief after losing to Britain, whom they had beaten regularly in the past four years.
"They had not beaten us in four years, actually since Beijing. Why? How? We don't know. Actually they have found their 'kick', we have to find ours if we are to improve," said D'Almeida.
"They know how to prepare for the Games, it is their objective. They were stronger than us."
Hoy is now tied with rower Steve Redgrave as Britain's second most-decorated Olympian behind cyclist Bradley Wiggins, who claimed his seventh Games medal by winning the time trial on Wednesday.
Hoy, who broke down in tears on the podium, will have the opportunity to add another medal to his tally when he starts the keirin event as the overwhelming favorite on Tuesday.
Britain, however, started the day rather embarrassingly.
In the qualifying session, first man Hindes, who seemed to have trouble with his front wheel, crashed after a quarter of a lap in the match against Germany but Britain were allowed to restart according to International Cycling Union (UCI) regulations.
Hindes then took a cannonball start to perfectly launch Kenny with Hoy finishing it off in style.
Hindes, the only rider who was not in the Beijing team four years ago, pushed so hard on the pedals in the final that he even led France's Bauge, the individual sprint world champion.
Bauge will look to make up for the disappointment in the individual sprint, a discipline he has utterly dominated since Beijing, on Saturday.
"The individual sprint is a completely different affair," warned Bauge.
(Editing by Ken Ferris and Alison Wildey)
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