Olympics: GB women cyclists disqualified

Great Britain’s Jess Varnish and Victoria Pendleton have been relegated in the women’s team sprint and will not contest a medal ride.

The GB pair had set a world record in qualifying at London 2012 velodrome, though it was broken moments later by China, but officials have ruled that there was an infringement in the takeover between the two riders and relegated them out of medal contention.

The British duo would have been vying for gold but were disqualified in the first round after the commissaires’ decision,so Germany will now take¬†on China for gold. Australia will battle Ukraine for bronze.

Pendleton was set to resume competition in the keirin on Friday, but for Varnish, who has focused on the starting lap in the event, the Games are over.

Boos replaced cheers in the velodrome as it was announced that Britain’s women cycling hopefuls had been disqualified from the team sprint finals.

Hopes now rest on four-time Olympic champion Sir Chris Hoy, and team-mates Jason Kenny and Philip Hindes.

The eight fastest teams advanced to the first round, with Varnish and Pendleton clocking 32.526 seconds to better the time Germany set in winning Track Cycling World Championships gold in Melbourne in April.

Yet China’s Gong Jinjie and Guo Shuang went faster still in the fifth and final heat, clocking 32.447secs.

German duo Kristina Vogel and Miriam Welte were third fastest in 32.630, with Australia’s Anna Meares and Kaarle McCulloch fourth quickest in 32.825.