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Wednesday, 20 September, 2000, 13:26 GMT 14:26 UK
British pedal power or Queally over-rated?
British cycling heroes
British cycling: A booming sport or one-off success?
He was the man who single-handedly kickstarted Great Britain's Olympic challenge - but until this week Jason Queally was a sporting unknown.

All of a sudden cycling seems to be something of a powerbase for the British and is now a major talking point among the nation's sports fans. But what is the reason for this abrupt shift in focus?

HAVE YOUR SAY Queally's gold in the velodrome on the first day of competition - which equals Britain's total haul from Atlanta 96 - has given an enormous boost to the team as a whole and to cycling in particular.

The 30-year-old followed that success by leading the sprint team to silver and Yvonne McGregor added to the pedal power on Monday with the first ever Olympic cycling medal for a British woman.

But what did you make of Queally's performance?

Was it one of Britain's most sensational Olympic victories - and a result that has put cycling permanently on the map?

Or is cycling still a minority sport in Britain, which will once again disappear into the background when the euphoria of a freak win begins to fade?

Tell us what you think.

HAVE YOUR SAY



I think we do really well with the resources available!
  Keith, Switzerland
At the end of the day we are a relatively small nation and we don't put enough funds/incentives towards amatuer sports. Unfortunately as with football, our expetation levels are far higher than they should be. It's a question of the "glass being half full not half empty". I think we do really well with the resources available!
Keith, Switzerland

It was a tremendous result and hopefully it will give cycling a lift. I don't think we should ask whether this was a freak win, we too often put our sportsmen and women down. Jason was the best on the day and that is all you can ask of him, we should be proud of him and congratulate him, not doubt the worth of the result.
Rob Fulford, UK


Winning an Olympic gold means that you are the very best at your sport
  Alex Adamou, England
Winning an Olympic gold means that you are the very best at your sport of all the people in the world. How can anyone possibly consider Jason Queally, or any other Olympic gold medallist, to be over-rated?
Alex Adamou, England

In the Netherlands and the rest of Western Europe, cycling is a major sport, so the achievements of Mr Queally should not be underestimated. Good luck to him and to all British sport fans.
F. Postma, Netherlands

If Jason had been the only medallist, then it would be a fluke, but remember, it took a world record to beat the team pursuit guys; Rob Hayles was in 3rd going into the last lap of the Madison; Yvonne Macgregor got Bronze. Britain has finally come good, and I am glad to see it.
Michael Devlin, Scotland


Jason Quelly won gold - now it's your turn
  Sukhraj Singh, England
The cycling association should set up an advertising campaign to promote British cycling. They should show a picture of Quelly winning a gold medal and then the following words should be displayed... 'Jason Quelly won gold - now it's your turn.'
Sukhraj Singh, England

I am the current woman's national champion of nine years standing on the track in cycle sprinting. I was a member of the WCPP from 1997 to 1999 and have been present from the first time Jason Queally and all the sprinters in the Olympic sprint turned up at Manchester track interested in the sprint events. I believe that match sprinting has been underrated in Britain, it requires facilities, guts and true gladiatorial spirit and is often referred to as the blue ribbon of track events in cycling. Please spare a thought for me, having been denied the opportunity to be a part of the track team competing in the Women's match sprinting in Sydney and having been denied this opportunity unjustly. I am taking my case to a tribunal in December.
Wendy Everson, South Wales

We should pat Jason on the back not have a dig. The British are a load of sceptics. We should have more faith in all our sportsmen and women. Too many people sit in their armchairs and put them down. I used to race bikes and you have to be very dedicated to get anywhere.
Don Applegate, England

The reason cycling is perceived to be a minority sport is because it is hardly ever televised in this country away from satellite. When over 20 million people in this country own a bicycle, and every child has "raced" his friends, it is clear that there must be popular interest in the sport just waiting to be tapped by the BBC and other media groups. (In Europe it is the 2nd most popular sport). Had the BBC covered cycling more readily in recent years it would have been clear that the likes of Queally and the rest of the GB team were definitely in contention for World and Olympic Medals. It is heartening to know that the BBC will provide 2 hours of coverage of the World Champs at Manchester this year. Long may it continue!
A cyclist, UK


Britain needs to give more backing and support to its athletes, not constantly criticise and belittle their achievements.
  Helen Jones, UK

Stop knocking every achievement well done for getting GOLD.
Andy, England

It just proves that if you provide world class facilities and support, you get world class results. It is by no fluke that we also do well in rowing and canoeing - again, world class facilities at Holme Pierrpont in Nottingham. I don't know what facilities we have for the shooting competitors, but on the performance so far, lets put some funds their way.
Dean, England

How does Britain expect to encourage young up-and-coming athletes to enter into sport if a fantastic achievement like this is labelled as non-important? Britain should be proud of all its athletes, and if it does not view cycling as important, why bother entering in the first place. Britain needs to give more backing and support to its athletes, not constantly criticise and belittle their achievements.
Helen Jones, UK

Does it matter whether it is a minority sport, Queally showed the true Olympic spirit just do your best and see what comes off. Okay so it is not one of the "fashionable" sports, but who cares, it may not make Britain one of the best cycling nations in the world forever but for a while we will be talked about. So let's all get behind the man and the team as a whole and just let them know how proud as a nation we all are of them. We spend to much time supporting losers, lets for once celebrate supporting winners.
Mr Gareth Ellaway, Wales


I know that watching Jason's magnificent performance gave me more pleasure than the Dome ever will!
  Walter Flex, UK
Congratulations to all the British cyclists. All the performances have been well above expectations, and show what can be done with a clear vision for the sport, and proper funding and facilities. For the first, Peter Keen should take credit. For the second, the lottery fund has undoubtedly proved the catalyst. But for putting it all together, and in the process contributing to the long-term health of the sport, the people who turn the pedals should be thanked. Well done.
Richard, UK

Surely the magnificent achievement finally shows that at least some of the lottery funds is being well spent. I know that watching Jason's magnificent performance gave me more pleasure than the Dome ever will!
Walter Flex, UK

The UK has had world Class cyclists in many events for a few years now. However, being pre-occupied with other sports has overshadowed their achievements. Thankfully the olympics is showcasing our lesser known talent. How typical of us to slate it all as a flash in the pan. Just for once it would be nice if collectively we could actually support our success rather than knocking it all the time.
Neil, UK

There are many minority sports in the UK that are present at the Olympics that will get very little sponsorship, encouragement or coverage. It's a shame we have to wait for such an event to occur for the millions of real fans to get a chance to see them.
Nick Cranch, UK


It is so refreshing to see Britain getting off to such a good start this time and we should be imensely proud of our cyclists for proving that we can be the best
  James Penny, England
He has become a star because the media did not spend every moment prior to his event telling us that he was an outstanding medal chance. Perhaps if the media provided more realistic assessments of our athletes prospects we would not feel so disappointed when we finish outside the medals but still perform personal bests..
Don Clarkson, United Kingdom

It was a brilliant win against the world's best, Perhaps some support from our press would be just a bit too much to ask. As this win coincided with the fuel protests with a lot of people (myself included) getting back on their bikes, perhaps cycling will enjoy a resurgence.
Ian Thomas, England

It is so refreshing to see Britain getting off to such a good start this time and we should be imensely proud of our cyclists for proving that we can be the best. I am no expert but it seems the answer to continued sporting success is pretty obvious - funding. Let us hope it continues for cycling and spreads into other sports, wouldn't it be great if in Athens 2004 we could boast golds in Archery, Shooting, hammer throwing and other 'minority' sports.
James Penny, England

Don't knock the fine performance of our cyclists. I will be interested to see if the over-hyped, over-exposed, over-paid glamour boys & girls of UK athletics can win as many medals.
Howard Davies, UK

The success of the cyclists in Sydney is directly related to the fact that the Manchester velodrome is a world class facility. Provide world class training facilities and UK athletes of all disciplines will start to win Olympic medals.
Martin, UK


Jason won gold in his discipline at the world's biggest sporting event
  Matt Goodrick, New Zealand
Competitive cycling is a minority sport in GB. However this does not mean that it should, or will, disapear into the background after the Olympics. Cycling neads to follow the example set by set by other sports and capitalise on its current success. The general public expect results from mainy minority sports such as rowing and 3-day eventing. The on-going sucess of cycling depends entirely on the level of sustained media interest it manages to attract which will in turn generate revenue and support for the sport.
Nick Cox, England

The cycling medals we have won so far in these olympics are an indication of what can be achieved with funding. In this case from the national lottery. A few years ago cycling secured the funding and now we are starting to reap the benefits of this. Not just on the track either. In mountainbiking and in particular, the downhill discipline, we are considered one of the countries with the greatest depth of talent. This isn't just luck. It is hard work and properly funded training programmes. Let's hope we can secure more cycling golds in the days to come.
Tony Priestley, UK

Jason won gold in his discipline at the world's biggest sporting event. In the UK there is a history of finding fault with our sports people. Let's get some positive reinforcement going, pat our representatives on the back and keep the foot on the accelerator. Queally showed the direction, now lets keep heading that way.
Matt Goodrick, New Zealand

I don't mind whether he is a one minute wonder or not, he won Gold with an Olympic Record and as such has boosted the Great Britain team.I genuinely feel more positive about our chances this year and I really hope Jason has now established himself on the world stage!
Tim Smith, UK


The main problem for cycle sport in the UK is that cycling is perceived as something you do to get to the shops if you don't own a car
  Ken Russell, UK
To the regular followers of cycling, Jason's success should not be that much of a surprise, and it shows that the WCPP is working. I only hope that the interest it creates in British cycling is maintained. This can only be done with the help of the media who, with the exception of one or two major events a year, are very narrow minded in the range of sports that are covered. Football for example receives far too much attention. Who knows what other potential champions we may have, not just in cycling but other "minority" sports, who only need a little more incentive in the way of funding or public exposure to help them achive their true potential
Phil Sinnett, England

The main problem for cycle sport in the UK is that cycling is perceived as something you do to get to the shops if you don't own a car. In mainland Europe cycling is a mainstream sport which merits hours of daily TV coverage and the competitors are treated as superstars. The lazy UK sports media should make more of an effort to report on cycling at home and abroad. Unlike cricket and tennis, the UK is actually getting some results in cycling.
Ken Russell, UK

Chris Boardman was "unknown" but look how he progressed.. The sucess is due to the foresight of Manchester and the BCF building the velodrome and using it as the new centre for track cycling. Jason has performed on the world stage, against the cream of his competition at the ultimate place for achievenent.
Paul Hardisty, Scotland

Cycling may be a minority sport but as a competitor all you can do is beat the opposition on the day - however many competitors there are. It is not as if Great Britain win many medals anyway, so there should be hype and euphoria when we win - its only once in a while. The media are always moaning and groaning when we lose. Why do we have to moan when we win? Most other countries just celebrate victories and winners as much as possible. It seems to be the British psyche to knock our sportsman whether they are winning or losing.
Mike Swann, England


British cycling has benefitted from the investment in the Manchester Velodrome
  Andrew Torrance, Wales
Like most sports fans, I have been glued to the TV screen since Friday, and it was fantastic to see a Gold Medal on Day 1. Although very few of us had heard of Queally, his achievement should not be criticised. The media should not compare him to Chris Boardman. Those who remember that far back will recall that Boardman's bike was the main reason he found Gold. Queally is a true British champion, the first of these games and hopefully not the last!
Rod Cullen, England

British cycling has benefitted from the investment in the Manchester Velodrome. Given the success at Sydney, the planned velodrome project for South Wales should be backed to the hilt . This Olympics proves the link between investment and results in sport.
Andrew Torrance, Wales, UK

Fantastic! When England expects certain well-known athletes to do well, we are usually disappointed. It is wonderful that a 'virtually unknown' person succeeds. This must take the pressure and media attention off those whose names we are constantly being reminded of. I look forward to hearing/reading/seeing more 'virtually unknowns' receiving medals. Well done Great Britain.
An Olympic Fan, England


Whether Jason Queally is a five minute wonder or not, we should give all our cyclists as much encouragement and support as possible
  Kevin Crocker, England
As an ex-pat living in the Philippines, and an ex-NCU cyclist, I am very happy to see GB get a gold in cycling. After years of living in the USA and seeing the way they support their athletes, I am overjoyed to know that there is finally financial support for GB athletes. Ignore the newspaper naysayers, and start funding all athletes, and Britain can get back to the glory days, of Sydney Wooderson and Roger Patterson; Sebastion Coe, et.al.
Walter Gillmore, Philippines

I had the pleasure of growing up with Jason, living next door to him in the Village of Caton near Lancaster. This result is just typical of his determination. He knew he had a big task to going out to Oz, but we knew he would give it his all. The result is better than expected, but just goes to show, that with a lot of effort and determination you can succeed. It also shows that the lottery funding is helping and working, and if the press did less knocking down, and more supporting, winning could be a more regular thing.
Graham Robinson, England

Whether Jason Queally is a five minute wonder or not, we should give all our cyclists as much encouragement and support as possible. Why do we always build our athletes up, only to knock them down again when they win something? We ought to get a bit more like the Americans, who have total belief in their athlete's abilities. More money should also be pumped into funding our athletes from the lottery fund. If we made them feel a bit more valued with better training and state of the art facilities, perhaps they would perform better and more consistently.
Kevin Crocker, England

Congratulations to Jason and the rest of the British track cycling team for some superb performances. This comes as no suprise to the cycling world - unlike the non-cycling media, we knew our riders could do it! Praise must also go to the supporting development programme that has helped these athletes to fulfil their medal-winning potential. Let's hope this gives this fantastic sport the coverage it deserves. Good luck also to those still cycling for Britain in the Olympic events ahead.
John Hopper, England


The win by Jason was excellent news and a shot in the arm for British Cycling
  David Standard, United Kingdom
I was predicting weeks of misery watching the Olympics, but a gold medal on the first day was fantastic. What a champion Jason Queally is, very modest in receiving what could be our only top honour. I hope the GB team follow his example, because he has certainly inspired me.
Nathan Fletcher, England

The win by Jason was excellent news and a shot in the arm for British Cycling. However the way in which this success will translate into a growth in the interest in cycling will depend upon the ability of the British Cycling Federation in capitalising on the interest generated by the fine performances of all our Cyclists in Sydney. Surely the BCF and the BBC can work together to look at televising more cycling now we have this public interest. We need to ensure that the profile of cycling improves because it certainly didn't after Chris Boardman's success in 1992.
David Standard, United Kingdom

Pedal Power definitely - since the introduction of the WCPP (World Class Performance Plan) we've seen a gradual improvement of our national squad, especially on the track (Olympic Sprint especailly). However, the current funding regime seems to be changing soon to reduce the level of support our top & improving athletes are getting. If this happens, I fear that our sucess will be shortlived.
Steven Ford, UK

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See also:

16 Sep 00 |  Cycling
Queally wins gold for Britain
18 Sep 00 |  Cycling
McGregor bronze makes history
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