UCI scores own goal with Kenny presentation

Junior world championship jersey better than none?

The UCI appeared to score a spectacular own goal as the London UCI Track World Cup got underway in the new Olympic velodrome.

Shortly before the first event -- qualifying for the women's team pursuit -- a presentation was held. In it, Jason Kenny was crowned world sprint champion after Frenchman Grégory Baugé was recently stripped of the title and handed a backdated ban for doping irregularities.

Kenny is British, the opening session was a sell out, and yet, while 6,000 people streamed into the stands, the presentation was not made on the podium in the track centre. Instead, a "ceremony" was held in private.

Well, that's not strictly true. Brian Cookson, the British Cycling president, handed a bemused Kenny his rainbow jersey in the media room, in front of a small audience of journalists.

Kenny was even more bemused to realise that the jersey said "Junior" on the shoulder. It was a junior world champion's jersey. To Cookson's embarrassment, it was all there was.

"It's a bit bizarre," said Kenny. "It's odd it says 'Junior' on it as well. It's a strange situation, but it's nice to have it now, and it will be good to race in it on Sunday. That will be special, especially in front of a home crowd, and hopefully I'll be at the thick end of the sprint."

Kenny will also be in action on Friday, lining up with Ross Edgar and Sir Chris Hoy in the team sprint. Edgar is relatively untried as a starter, and Hoy has admitted the line-up is "experimental", but Kenny said Edgar had performed well in training.

"Everyone's quite excited to get up and see what we can do," he said. "Everyone feels we've got a good time in us, it's just a case of getting it out. We're going to get out there in qualifying and just give it everything from the very beginning. Hopefully that will put us in a good place and give us a second ride."

Related Articles

Back to top