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Four-time gold medallist to lead Team GB into stadium... but Wiggins likely to have early night ahead of Saturday's road race...

Sir Chris Hoy, who is looking to add two Olympic golds in London to the four he has previously won, will carry the union flag in Friday’s London 2012 opening ceremony. Hoy was Great Britain’s flag carrier four years ago in Beijing, where he won gold in the individual and team sprints and the keirin. There have been calls for newly crowned Tour de France champion Bradley Wiggins to have the honour of lighting the Olympic flame, but his competition schedule means that is unlikely to happen.

Hoy, who also won gold in the kilo and silver in the team sprint at Athens in 2004, will be the first ever cyclist to have the honour of carrying the union flag into the Olympic Stadium at the head of the Great Britain team, with more than half of the 542 athletes representing the country in London expected to participate in the opening ceremony.

As the host nation, Great Britain will be the last country to enter the Olympic Stadium, with Greece by tradition entering first, with other nations entering in alphabetical order, ahead of the ceremony culminating with the lighting of the Olympic flame.

Given that the men’s road race starts a few hours after the opening ceremony is due to finish, it’s highly unlikely that any of the five riders representing Great Britain in that event will attend it at all, let alone that Bradley Wiggins will be given the duty in recognition of his exploits over the past three weeks. Parties as diverse as the Daily Star and Tory MP Louise Mensch have led calls for the Team Sky rider to light the flame.

The smart money is on Sir Steve Redgrave to do the honours. Winner of five gold medals, the former rower is Great Britain’s most successful Olympian in terms of events won, although Hoy could of course overhaul that total over the next fortnight or so.

Wiggins, who has six Olympic medals, three of them gold, and Hoy himself could also become the country’s most successful Olympian in terms of total medals won – the Tour de France winner is, on current form, as close to a certainty as it’s possible to get to take a medal of some colour.

Commenting on his being chosen to carry the flag, Hoy said: “I’m absolutely delighted and honoured to have been voted as the flag bearer for Team GB. To lead out your team at a home Olympics is truly a once in a lifetime opportunity and one that I can’t wait to experience in just a few days’ time.”

British Cycling president, Brian Cookson, added: “To be selected as a flag bearer at any Olympic Games is a great honour but to be selected for the home Games is an extra special achievement and I’d like to personally congratulate Sir Chris. Chris has been an outstanding ambassador to the sport of cycling throughout his extensive career, and we’re proud that he is a fellow member of British Cycling. To have Chris carry the flag on behalf of Great Britain is another milestone in the success of cycling in Britain.”

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.

8 comments

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lokikontroll [51 posts] 4 years ago
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Louis Mensch and the Tory party all despise cycling.

Boris Johnson is pro-automobile, anti-cycling, anti-bike lanes and could care less about cyclists routinely being killed on London roads.

All of them would love nothing more than to see cyclists off the streets permanently.

What total scum, bandwagon jumpers these Tory frauds are.

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WolfieSmith [1326 posts] 4 years ago
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I hope Wiggins keeps his bullshit detector dialled upto maximum over the next few weeks. Once the footie starts again public and political attention will turn back to failing clubs,pay packets, wags, and who said what to who on the pitch and cycling can go about it's business as before.

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Simon_MacMichael [2457 posts] 4 years ago
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Wiggins like the rest of Team GB is now on lockdown... any other year, if he'd won the Tour he'd be on everything from BBC Breakfast to Graham Norton (which could have been fun, given some of his press conferences). But while he's on a low profile for now, I think it will be a case of 'Apres le crono, le deluge...'

He was doorstepped by film crews today up in Lancs... stopped briefly for a word with BBC News, interesting he had the yellow helmet, but normal Sky jersey. If I'd just won the Tour, I'd probably have been tempted to give the MJ one last outing, but that shows his respect for the sport... only wear it if you're on the race and in the lead.

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ALIHISGREAT [119 posts] 4 years ago
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lokikontroll wrote:

Louis Mensch and the Tory party all despise cycling.

Boris Johnson is pro-automobile, anti-cycling, anti-bike lanes and could care less about cyclists routinely being killed on London roads.

All of them would love nothing more than to see cyclists off the streets permanently.

What total scum, bandwagon jumpers these Tory frauds are.

and your evidence for this?

or is it just your personal opinion on the conservative party?

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lokikontroll [51 posts] 4 years ago
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My evidence? Are you joking?

Dozens of cycling deaths every year, 497 serious injuries in 2012 alone. Boris has done nothing to make cycling safer for cyclists. He refuses to hold large lorries accountable for their dangers.

Boris & Cameron has come out and said that he will "end the war on cars" As if there ever was one. And its there is a backlash against cars its most certainly a counter-insurgency.

He has said he will do nothing to change sentencing laws for reckless drivers who kill or injure. You can kill someone with a car in London and only get a fine.

He has largely rendered useless the initial intent of the cycling superhighway as envisioned by Livingstone. He has allowed motorcycles in the cycling lanes and bus lanes.

What has Louise Mensch done for cycling? Except jump on Bradley Wiggins bandwagon that day after he wins the TdF because she might score some points politically by aligning herself with cycling.

Please why don't you give me evidence of what Louise Mensch has ever done for cyclists or cycling? Or any Tory MP for that matter. I'd really love to hear it.

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lokikontroll [51 posts] 4 years ago
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ALIHISGREAT wrote:
lokikontroll wrote:

Louis Mensch and the Tory party all despise cycling.

Boris Johnson is pro-automobile, anti-cycling, anti-bike lanes and could care less about cyclists routinely being killed on London roads.

All of them would love nothing more than to see cyclists off the streets permanently.

What total scum, bandwagon jumpers these Tory frauds are.

and your evidence for this?

or is it just your personal opinion on the conservative party?

My evidence? Are you joking?

Dozens of cycling deaths every year, 497 serious injuries in 2012 alone. Boris has done nothing to make cycling safer for cyclists. He refuses to hold large lorries accountable for their dangers.

Boris & Cameron has come out and said that he will "end the war on cars" As if there ever was one. And its there is a backlash against cars its most certainly a counter-insurgency.

He has said he will do nothing to change sentencing laws for reckless drivers who kill or injure. You can kill someone with a car in London and only get a fine.

He has largely rendered useless the initial intent of the cycling superhighway as envisioned by Livingstone. He has allowed motorcycles in the cycling lanes and bus lanes.

What has Louise Mensch done for cycling? Except jump on Bradley Wiggins bandwagon that day after he wins the TdF because she might score some points politically by aligning herself with cycling.

Please why don't you give me evidence of what Louise Mensch has ever done for cyclists or cycling? Or any Tory MP for that matter. I'd really love to hear it.

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doc [167 posts] 4 years ago
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The only thing which the comments from "diverse sources" prove is that they know little about cycling - if anything - and have utterly failed to check the schedules. 00.30 am - light Olympic flame (on feet for 90 minutes). 10.00a.m same day, start major race to ride for GB.  39
Err, no.
Which shows who is trying for a bandwaggon and who thinks before opening mouth/going into print.

Sir Steve Redgrave is the obvious choice, but according to reports (unreliable) it could be a "surprise". Will anyone remember once the medals start coming in, anyway?

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Simon_MacMichael [2457 posts] 4 years ago
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Depends what the surprise is.

I don't think anyone who saw Muhammad Ali in Atlanta will ever forget that.