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Team GB in track cycling row with Denmark over illegal shin tape – before Dane crashes into Briton

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Team GB in cycling row with Denmark over illegal shin tape – before Dane takes out Brit on track – AFP. The Olympic velodrome descended into pandemonium on Tuesday as Denmark and Britain collided on the way, with the Danes controversially advancing to the men’s team pursuit final. The collision came just hours after British Cycling’s performance director Stephen Park said Denmark should have been disqualified for using illegal equipment in their qualifying round.

Given the build-up, the collision occurred with around 500m to go in what was already a bad-tempered clash. Britain – for whom three-time Olympic champion Ed Clancy withdrew earlier in the day with a back injury, ending a golden career – started well and were up by a third of a second after the first 500m. But they soon began to fall back against the mighty Danes, who lowered their own world record in qualifying on Monday, only for Italy to break it on Tuesday.

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With Denmark turning the screw, Clancy’s replacement Charlie Tanfield began to fall off the back of the GB team, who were by then down to three riders. As the gap between Tanfield and his teammates grew, the Danish riders caught up to the back of him, and Frederik Madsen slammed right into the back of him.

Both riders went down with Madsen clearly very angry, swearing loudly and gesticulating. The Danish rider shouted ‘f— them’ at the British team. There was massive uncertainty over what should happen and whether the ‘catch’ had already been made or whether the incident was the fault of the Danes for not looking.

Frederik Madsen of Denmark and Charlie Tanfield of Great Britain crash – Alex Broadway

Eventually, after roughly half an hour of deliberating, the UCI ruled that Denmark would go through to face Italy in the final. It capped a hugely controversial day with Park saying he believed the Danes ought to have been disqualified for wearing illegal shin-tape and undervests in qualifying on Monday.

Park argued that the shin tape was illegal as it fell foul of the ruling that you must not apply “any material or substance onto the skin or clothing which is not itself an item of clothing.” The undervests, he said, were not publicly available on Jan 1 as UCI rules state they must be. Incredibly, he says the “source code” online appears to have changed in the last 24hrs to make it look as if the garments were available on Jan 1.

Park says “multiple teams” protested, and there was a big meeting earlier today where commissaires basically conceded the rules had been broken. Therefore Denmark would not be allowed to use either the tape or the undervests in their ride today, but they would not be disqualified. Park argues that was the “only option” for “deliberately turning up in breach of the regulations”.

 

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