French sprinters score third gold in a row

France's winning team sprinters.

France's winning team sprinters. (Image credit: Nick Rosenthal)

The French sprint team has yet again shown it is the one to beat in the discipline, winning gold in front of the British squad at the Track Worlds in Manchester on Wednesday night. For the third time in a row, the French sprinters dominated their rivals, even if their line-up this year was slightly different.

Grégory Baugé, Kevin Sireau and Arnaud Tournant, who replaced Mickaël Bourgain in the finale and now counts his ninth victory in the team sprint, even realised the best time ever clocked in the discipline, 43"271, four tenths of a second faster than their British rivals – which can be considered a big gap.

Jamie Staff, together with his team-mate Ross Edgar and Chris Hoy had tried everything in the almost traditional match against the French, but had to admit the superiority of the French team. "They have always been the team to beat," said Staff. "Moreover, they have an impressive reserve of young up-an-coming riders. We will have a hard time against them even in London 2012."

Australia's head coach Michael Barras was stunned by the performance. "They have just rewritten the book entirely and in realistic terms they've put it beyond anybody's grasp," said Barras. "There are very few words for that – it was extraordinary."

With the Olympic Games in Beijing coming up this summer, chances are that the French team will remain the same for the event, lining up Arnaud Tournant instead of Mickaël Bourgain. Head coach Florian Rousseau is due to announce his decision upon the team's return to Paris early next week.

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