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You know you’re doing well at cycling when you beat the French, for whom it is a national sport. And you know you’re doing really well when they start accusing you of cheating, as they did this week. After a series of defeats at the hands of Britain in recent days, their technical director, Isabelle Gautheron, muttered about the home team’s aerodynamic disc wheels, which she claimed were not the same as those used by other riders. Maybe, she suggested, the discs hid some sort of speed-enhancing device, like a spring.
“The secret of our wheels,” Brailsford retorted, “is that they’re round”.
His reply appeared to be taken seriously by French journalists, who immediately started wondering how the British technicians had discovered a way to make bicycle wheels more round.