Hindes take a tumble during qualifying (John Giles/PA Wire)

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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.”

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