Kenny chosen over Hoy for sprint

Jason Kenny has been selected to ride the individual sprint for Team GB at the London 2012 track cycling ahead of Olympic champion Sir Chris Hoy.

The decision means 36-year-old Hoy will only be able to defend two of the three titles he won in Beijing in 2008.

Both men have been selected in the team sprint, along with Philip Hindes, while Hoy will ride in the keirin.


“This was by far the biggest decision facing GB’s track cycling selectors.

Hoy is the defending Olympic sprint champion – Kenny won silver behind him in Beijing – but the event has since been dominated by France’s Gregory Bauge. Bauge has won three of the past four world titles, being stripped of the other (in 2011) for dope test offences. Kenny finished second that year and subsequently inherited the title.

The Frenchman has been cleared to race at London 2012 since that incident and is easily the favourite. The selectors have left Hoy to focus on the keirin, an event he dominates as the reigning world champion and Olympic champion, and given Kenny the responsibility of both filling Hoy’s shoes and challenging Bauge. That is some challenge.”

“I am now focused entirely on the keirin and team sprint and my goals for those events haven’t changed,” he said.

“Whilst I’m obviously disappointed not to be defending all three of my 2008 Olympic titles in London, Jason thoroughly deserves this opportunity and has a great chance of success in the sprint.”

British Cycling performance director Dave Brailsford added: “Both Chris and Jason are on great form and that made it a difficult choice but we have decided to select Jason to contest the sprint and Chris will concentrate on the keirin.

“We believe this gives us the strongest team possible going into the Games.”

The fight for Britain’s men’s sprint berth had been fiercely contested between the pair, but 24-year-old Kenny has been handed the spot after defeating Hoy at this year’s World Championships.

Kenny beat the Scot in the semi-finals in Melbourne in April but missed out on gold, losing in the final to France’s Gregory Bauge, the favourite for sprint gold in London.

Hoy, whose last world sprint title came in 2008, will instead concentrate on the keirin, an event in which he is the reigning world and Olympic champion.

Track cycling team of Great Britain

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Cycling: Gold rush for Team GB in 2008

Full Team GB track cycling line-up:

Men’s team sprint:

Philip Hindes, Sir Chris Hoy, Jason Kenny, (reserve – Ross Edgar)

Women’s team sprint:

Victoria Pendleton, Jess Varnish, (reserve – Becky James)

Men’s team pursuit:

Steven Burke, Ed Clancy, Pete Kennaugh, Andy Tennant, Geraint Thomas

Women’s team pursuit:

Wendy Houvenaghel, Dani King, Joanna Rowsell, Laura Trott

Men’s sprint:

Jason Kenny

Women’s sprint:

Victoria Pendleton

Men’s keirin:

Sir Chris Hoy

Women’s keirin:

Victoria Pendleton

Men’s omnium:

Ed Clancy

Women’s omnium:

Laura Trott

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