Jason Kenny took a significant step towards earning the sprint place in Team GB for the London 2012 Olympics, despite his relegation in the final against Frenchman Gregory Bauge at the 2012 Track World Championships.
Kenny defeated teammate and rival for the position, Sir Chris Hoy in the semi-final.
Bauge appeared comfortable in his defeat of Kenny in the opening heat of the final but with everything on the line for the Brit in the second, he began his sprint from the very start of the three-lap event. Bauge approached Kenny on the final bend, just as the Brit infringed the sprinting line, causing the Frenchman to adjust in order to avoid contact.
The move came under scrutiny from the commissaries and the decision was made to relegate Kenny, handing the title to Bauge for the third time with a twist of fate. His 2011 victory was stripped for falling foul of the whereabouts system requirements, a decision led to Kenny inheriting the title.
"As I've always said, the big objective this season is the Olympic Games in London," Bauge said following the race.
"I'm happy, obviously, but it's a bittersweet victory because I felt I could have won the second match. The world championships are every year, it's not my first title and in a few months time there's the biggest rendezvous at the Games."
The call mirrored that which decided the women's sprint on Friday, with the title awarded to Victoria Pendleton after Simona Krupeckaite was penalised. Today's decision infuriated both Team GB's head coach Shane Sutton and parts of the crowd which resorted to booing. Kenny, meanwhile, was diplomatic, saying that he had stuck to his race plan and only came unstuck by bending the rules.
"It was just the way it is," he explained. "The rules are the rules and you can clearly see on the video that I came out the red. You can't really argue with that. We decided to put it all on the line there at the start," he said of his tactics for race two. "We know he [Bauge] can sometimes be a little bit asleep in that first quarter, so we just thought we'd take advantage of that and give it a go."
As a sports journalist and producer since 1997, Jane has covered Olympic and Commonwealth Games, rugby league, motorsport, cricket, surfing, triathlon, rugby union, and golf for print, radio, television and online. However her enduring passion has been cycling.
Jane is a former Australian Editor of Cyclingnews from 2011 to 2013 and continues to freelance within the cycling industry.
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