velodrome

What would you do about a table like this if you were the International Olympic Committee?

The table shows the complete domination of track cycling by one nation — Great Britain. The results are from the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and Britain’s 12 medals in this one sport were a touch over a quarter of the nation’s total medal count for the entire Games that year.

Also, what stands out in this list of track cycling events? Again from the Beijing Olympics:

•  Individual Pursuit Men
•  Sprint Individual Men
•  Keirin Men
•  Team Pursuit Men
•  Madison Men
•  Points Race Men
•  Olympic Sprint Men
•  Individual Pursuit Women
•  Points Race Women
•  Sprint Women

Notice how there are fewer events for women? Pourquoi?

Thanks to a number of changes, neither the domination by British cyclists nor the lack of parity in men’s versus women’s events will feature in these games. Rue Britannia. Read more

Bradley Wiggins celebrates winning the gold medal on August 1 (CARL DE SOUZA/AFP/GettyImages)

While Britain wallows in the wonder of Bradley Wiggins, a hat-tip (or even a doff of the helmet) should be conferred on Peter Keen, the man who a decade ago set about to revive the fortunes of British cycling.

Mr Keen created Britain’s high performance cycling programme around Manchester’s velodrome, before passing on the baton to British Cycling’s performance director Dave Brailsford.

Wiggins came under his wing in the late 90s, a very different creature to the other budding 17 and 18 year-olds in his charge, Mr Keen recalls.

“He was completely immersed in cycling. It is all he wanted to read about and study, whereas many of his contemporaries wouldn’t have had that level of fascination and focus,” Mr Keen says.

The Wiggins riding style has barely changed over the years: “He was almost too aware of how he would look and flow on the bike.” Read more