This article was originally published on Cyclingnews.com.
The intricacies of the track cycling rule book may get a going-over following the Olympic Games but the actions of Great Britain team sprint member Philip Hindes were completely legal.
Hindes had the task of leading out teammates Sir Chris Hoy and Jason Kenny when the German-born member of the team got off to a wobbly start in Great Britain’s qualifying heat against Germany. Hindes then appeared to deliberately ditch his ride before the first bend with Hoy and Kenny reacting quickly to appeal for a re-start which was granted.
“So I crashed, I did it on purpose just to get the restart, just to have the fastest ride. It was all planned really,” Hindes said when interviewed following the incident.
Following the re-start Great Britain went on to soundly beat the Germans, going 43.065 to the German’s 43.710.
The 19 year-old’s admission follows a “very small mistake” at April’s UCI Track World Championships where Hindes made an illegal change, causing the team to be relegated and miss out on their bronze medal match sprint. Following that experience, Hindes told media on Thursday that he had talked through various scenarios with his teammates about what to do if things went pear-shaped.
By the time Hindes fronted the post-event media conference, and the team had collected their gold medal for their defeat of France in the final, he denied that the fall was deliberate.
“No. I just went out the gate and just lost control, just fell down,” he claimed. “My back wheel slipped and totally lost control and then I couldn’t handle the bike anymore and just crashed.”
French technical director Isabelle Gautheron was disappointed that Hindes had taken advantage of the rules in such a manner when interviewed by AFP.
“It’s pretty obvious from the video pictures that he crashed to get the restart,” she said. “There is nothing in the rules to sanction such an action. But now that he’s come out and said it, I hope the authorities consider making a change to the rules.
“We’re still bitter to have lost the final.”