France's three-time world individual sprint champion Grégory Baugé is ready to do anything it takes to win when track cycling gets underway later this week at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. On the eve of the Games the 27-year-old from Maisons-Laffitte used his Twitter account to write that he is "ready for war" in English and he maintained that aggression when he spoke to French journalists at a press conference in London on Monday morning.
"That was to signify that I am mentally prepared," he said, according to L'Equipe. "This is not a playground and I'm not here for fun. For me it is nothing but a world championship on a larger scale."
Baugé defeated Britain's representative in the individual sprint, Jason Kenny, when the pair met in the final of the Track World Championships in Melbourne last April. Kenny's form there has seen him get the nod for the sole Team GB spot in that event over Sir Chris Hoy, who won Olympic gold in 2008.
Baugé stated that he was disappointed not to be racing individually against Hoy, who will instead compete in the keirin in London, though the two men will line up against each other in the team sprint. Baugé was part of the French trio who finished second to Hoy, Kenny and Jamie Staff in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and he revealed that revenge is definitely on his mind. 2012 started very controversially for the Frenchman when he was stripped of his 2011 individual sprint world championship title and France were stripped of their team title for whereabouts violations. He is hoping that Olympic gold medals can ensure it's a year to remember for the right reasons.
"I'm here for two gold medals," Baugé said. "It's regrettable that Chris Hoy will not be there in the sprint - it's a shame for the public. Plus there is not enough room there for the spectators. The Olympic Velodrome is too small for the demand that they have."