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Brits dominate opening track tests

Scotland's Chris Hoy anchored Britain to an historic victory in the coveted Olympic team sprint final in Beijing Friday to leave world champions France with the silver. Hoy, who is aiming for a further two gold medals in the five-day, ten final race anchored the team home after stunning rides from England's Jamie Staff and Jason Kenny in a time of 43.128. France took the silver in 43.551 with defending champions Germany beating Australia to the bronze medal.

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By Agence France Presse

The British men scored gold in the team sprint.

The British men scored gold in the team sprint.

Photo: Agence France Presse

Scotland’s Chris Hoy anchored Britain to an historic victory in the coveted Olympic team sprint final in Beijing Friday to leave world champions France with the silver.

Hoy, who is aiming for a further two gold medals in the five-day, ten final race anchored the team home after stunning rides from England’s Jamie Staff and Jason Kenny in a time of 43.128.

France took the silver in 43.551 with defending champions Germany beating Australia to the bronze medal.

It is the first of a possible eight gold medals that the highly-fancied British track squad could win here from the 10 gold medal events, in which Britain holds seven of the world titles.

Staff, Kenny and Hoy proved unstoppable in the qualifying round where they posted the fastest time of the field in 42.950.

Beijing Olympic Track: The USA sprint team finished eighth.

Beijing Olympic Track: The USA sprint team finished eighth.

Photo: Graham Watson

They then dominated the first round in 43.034, giving France — which posted a first round time of 43.656 — another reminder of British track power.

“To beat the French by half a second made it exciting,” said Hoy. “It took every inch of effort to beat them as they have been invincible. We had to put the pieces of the jigsaw together.”

France had chopped and changed their trio of riders, replacing 14-time world champion and anchor man Arnaud Tournant with Mickael Bourgain for the first round, before putting Tournant back in for the final.

Staff, a former BMX professional rider, was unstoppable over his first lap ride and then Kenny, a 20-year-old from Bolton who is the newest addition to the squad, took over in sensational style.

Kenny’s much-hyped power briefly proved too much for Hoy, who struggled to hold the Englishman’s wheel in the latter stages of their ride together.

Rule, Britannia!

Rule, Britannia!

Photo: Graham Watson

But once he was left on his own Hoy, the reigning Olympic kilometer champion from Athens, powered round the last lap to finish comfortably ahead of Tournant.

Men’s team sprint – 2008 Olympics
Beijing, China
Gold: Great Britain (Chris Hoy, Jason Kenny, Jamie Staff)
Silver: France (Gregory Bauge, Kevin Sireau, Arnaud Tournant)
Bronze: Germany (Rene Enders, Maximilian Levy, Stefan Nimke)

Photo Gallery

Results

Men’s team sprint – 2008 Olympics
Beijing, China
Gold: Great Britain (Chris Hoy, Jason Kenny, Jamie Staff)
Silver: France (Gregory Bauge, Kevin Sireau, Arnaud Tournant)
Bronze: Germany (Rene Enders, Maximilian Levy, Stefan Nimke)