Great Britain cleaning up on Olympic cycling track

Britain’s Jason Kenny (red helmet) competes with France’s Gregory Bauge during the track cycling men’s sprint gold finals at the Velodrome during the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Photograph by: Stefano Rellandini , Reuters

LONDON — Brits always could find their way about on two wheels.

These days, though, their affair with the bicycle borders on obsession, a new-found religion, all tied in with GB becoming so darn good at the sport. Cycling prowess has suddenly come to represent British pride and sporting excellence.

“Cycling is probably the event [of these Games] and the national sport right now because of all the success Great Britain has had,” says Jacques Landry, Cycling Canada’s high performance director and head coach.

Is it any wonder the Aussies love to tease that the Brits are only good at sports in which they sit down to compete — such as cycling, rowing, sailing? After Jason Kenney’s sprint gold on Monday, GB had won a combined 18 medals in cycling and rowing in London.

With more medals likely on the track — and possibly in mountain bike — the Brits are the talk of the cycling world, with nine medals already, including five gold on the track and Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins’ gold in the men’s road time trial. So dominant is the British cycling program it has become the New York Yankees of the sport: rich, relentless, a little arrogant.

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