On the final day of the competition Rob Hayles and Mark Cavendish won the men’s madison, a surprise to them and almost everybody else, but a fitting end to a fizzing performance from Team GB.
Performance manager Dave Brailsford will be hugely happy for the gold bagged by Victoria Pendleton – Britain’s first women’s track gold since Beryl Burton’s pursuit victory in 1966 – but will be also be gladdened by the gutsy performance of Cavendish. At 18, he was brought to the champs for experience not as a likely gold medal winner.
Team GB topped the medals table with four golds, one silver and a bronze. The Netherlands bagged 2-3-3 and Germany got 2-0-1. Australia managed fourth place, fielding a weakened team. In fact, Australia won the most medals at the championships but most were bronzes and it’s golds that carry the most weight.
The US cycling team failed to grab a single medal, a disappoint for the home audience in Los Angeles.
Brailsford praised Team GB’s performance: "We’re a pretty drilled outfit, professional in what we do. We look at the detail and at times like this, it all comes together. But we are not getting complacent. Some of the results that went against us will spur us on to work harder, to keep us keen and keep us hungry."
Team GB is run by British Cycling. In February, Sport England and UK Sport jointly awarded British Cycling’s World Class Performance Plan with £21m, running April 2005 to April 2009. The cash supports up to 44 athletes and was increased to reward the medal haul at the Athens Olympics.