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Aussie sprinters in a 'family feud'

Ryan Bayley was upset

Ryan Bayley was upset (Image credit: John Veage)

By Paul Verkuylen in Sydney

The men's sprint title was one of the hottest contested titles Thursday night at the Australian track cycling championships in Sydney, with the action heating up both on and off the boards.

A clash in the third semi-final heat between Shane Perkins and Olympic champion Ryan Bayley sent Bayley sprawling to the deck, and resulted in him lashing out at his soon to be brother-in-law. Perkins proposed to Bayley's sister just four weeks ago.

After picking himself up from the floor, Bayley shook his helmet and yelled at his opponent before heading back to the pits to cool down from the effort. Later the judges ruled that the move by Perkins, which saw him come down on Bayley in the final bend, was illegal and Perkins was disqualified, leaving Bayley to ride off for the gold medal against Mark French.

Bayley's outburst didn't go un-noticed either and he received an official warning from the commissaries for his actions.

"It's sprinting, it happens unfortunately," Bayley said about his crash. "The thing was I actually don't like the guy, so it sort of made me a little more angry, during the race and after the race. It's an unfortunate incident. Perkins is going really well at the moment, but I don't care because I don't like him.

"We're sprinters, we race, we get angry when we race and when stuff like that happens we get angry when we get off the bike too," Bayley continued. "But like I said it was just an unfortunate incident."

Bayley was visibly worked up about the whole ordeal even after his final with French, where the Victorian got the better of him, but it is fair to say that there is no love lost between the two soon-to-be relatives.

"I am engaged to his sister and that probably doesn't help things either," said Perkins. "There is a personality clash, but I won't say too much.

"We are professionals to each other, but for what ever reason he has something against me. I don't have anything against him at all, you can't choose his family," Perkins concluded.

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Laura Weislo has been with Cyclingnews since 2006 after making a switch from a career in science. As Deputy Editor, she coordinates coverage for North American events and global news. A former elite-level road racer who dabbled in cyclo-cross and track, Laura has a passion for all three disciplines. When not working she likes to go camping and explore lesser traveled roads, paths and gravel tracks.