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UCI scores own goal with Kenny presentation

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Grégory Baugé defeated Jason Kenny in two races.

Grégory Baugé defeated Jason Kenny in two races. (Image credit: AFP Photo)
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Chris Hoy just beats Jason Kenny to the line to win the Men's Keirin at the 2009 Great Britain track championships.

Chris Hoy just beats Jason Kenny to the line to win the Men's Keirin at the 2009 Great Britain track championships. (Image credit: British Cycling)
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Grégory Baugé (France) celebrates after besting Jason Kenny for the gold

Grégory Baugé (France) celebrates after besting Jason Kenny for the gold (Image credit: AFP Photo)
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Gregory Bauge beats Jason Kenny to win the gold medal for France in the men’s sprint.

Gregory Bauge beats Jason Kenny to win the gold medal for France in the men’s sprint. (Image credit: Gerry McManus)

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."

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Richard Moore

Richard Moore is a freelance journalist and author. His first book, In Search of Robert Millar (HarperSport), won Best Biography at the 2008 British Sports Book Awards. His second book, Heroes, Villains & Velodromes (HarperSport), was long-listed for the 2008 William Hill Sports Book of the Year.

He writes on sport, specialising in cycling, and is a regular contributor to Cyclingnews, the Guardian, skyports.com, the Scotsman and Procycling magazine.

He is also a former racing cyclist who represented Scotland at the 1998 Commonwealth Games and Great Britain at the 1998 Tour de Langkawi

His next book, Slaying the Badger: LeMond, Hinault and the Greatest Ever Tour de France, will be published by Yellow Jersey in May 2011.

Another book, Sky’s the Limit: British Cycling’s Quest to Conquer the Tour de France, will also be published by HarperSport in June 2011.