British Cycling going to extremes

British Cycling knows almost no limits in its desire to win. It has shredded the "top-secret" kit...

British Cycling knows almost no limits in its desire to win. It has shredded the "top-secret" kit which its track medal winners at the Beijing Olympics used last summer. It also considered some extreme measures to deal with possible broken collarbones.

The problem with the collarbone plan is that it would have required deliberately injuring one of its riders. "Ed Clancy [who won gold in the Olympic team pursuit] said he would not mind having his two collar bones broken," British Cycling Team Performance Director Dave Brailsford told the BBC. "But then, thankfully, someone said 'what on earth are you doing?' and this madness was stopped."

Brailsford said that the track riders' skinsuits have been shredded to prevent them from falling into the hands of their rivals, who might then attempt to copy them. Britain intends to use the suits again at its home London Olympics in 2012.

"Those suits were created by British Cycling and Adidas put the labels on," he said, but the actually sewing was outsourced for further security. "Our skin suits were sent out to Japan so that the person who put them together in Japan did not know where they were from and there was no link."

Britain won eight gold medals in track events at the Beijing Olympics.(SW)

(Additional editorial assistance from Susan Westemeyer)

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