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Page last updated at 22:08 GMT, Saturday, 6 November 2010

Chris Hoy suffers shock Poland defeat to Felix English

European Track Cycling Championships
Venue: Pruszkow, Poland Dates: 5-7 November
Coverage: Live commentary on BBC 5 live sports extra (not available online) on Saturday from 1915 GMT, Sunday from 1745. Also live on British Eurosport

Chris Hoy after defeat by Felix English
Hoy reacts after defeat by English

Sir Chris Hoy was knocked out of the European Elite Track Championships as the Republic of Ireland's Felix English exploited his error to win in Pruszkow.

Four-time Olympic champion Hoy slowed, thinking he had the last-16 race won, only for English, 18, to surge past.

"The first I knew he was there was in the home straight when I saw him coming up, and there was nothing I could do," Hoy told the Guardian newspaper.

Russia's Denis Dmitriev took the event with Britain's Jason Kenny third.

Hoy had qualified fastest from the first round with a time of 9.999 seconds over 200m - more than a second better than English's mark.


Expectations of a straightforward victory for the Scot were confounded though when the 34-year-old seriously misjudged the lead he had built up over English.

As Hoy eased off the pedals to conserve energy for rounds to come, English drove on to shut the gap and then power past, leaving Hoy unable to respond.

"When you are up against an opponent who is one second slower, 99 times out of a hundred you know it's going to be straightforward and you don't want to waste energy because there is a lot of racing to come and if you smoke it and win by 50m it looks disrespectful," said Hoy.

"I went from the front, put an 85% jump in, got a big gap then shut it down. He looked so far back I thought he had given up."

English told Cycling Weekly: "It's nuts, I'm not even a sprinter. I was facing the best sprinter in the world and was just planning to take it from the front and expecting to lose." "The gap wasn't that big -about three lengths- so I rushed the gap on the last bend and came past him in the last 50m. He didn't notice until too late and that was it."

English, who had only entered the sprint as practice for the omnium event, was eliminated in the next round by eventual champion Dmitriev.

It was the last race of the European Championships for Hoy, as he was not entered for the men's keirin, in which he is world and Olympic champion.

In the men's omnium, world champion Ed Clancy was seventh after three events, with three to follow on Sunday, while world junior champion Laura Trott was eighth in the corresponding women's event.

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see also
Brits win Euro team pursuit golds
05 Nov 10 |  Cycling
Hoy and Pendleton set for Poland
24 Aug 10 |  Cycling
Hoy clinches historic third gold
19 Aug 08 |  Cycling

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