Hannah Barnes has told Cycling Weekly that she is not angry with anybody as the fall out from Saturday’s IG London Nocturne continues.
Barnes (MG-Maxifuel) was awarded second place behind Laura Trott (Wiggle-Honda) in the women’s race, despite crossing the line ahead of the double Olympic champion.
Event organiser FACE Partnership yesterday issued a statement explaining that British Cycling commissaires had relegated Barnes for dangerous riding, as she crossed the line with her hands in the air.
However, despite ‘losing’ her 100 per cent record in the event, Barnes insisted that she bears no grudge to FACE or BC.
“Honestly, people make mistakes. It’s life,” she told CW. “How we’ve ended up in this situation, I don’t know. It is not great, but what has happened has happened. I’m not angry about the situation.
“I can still take out that I won the race for the fifth time, even if that’s not how the result stands right now.”
Crucially, Barnes admitted that she has not yet seen the photo finish of the sprint, nor was she told about her relegation until five days after the race.
“I was not shown anything afterwards, and the first I was told about the ‘dangerous sprint’ was around 12pm today [Thursday],” she added.
MG-Maxifuel team manager Rod Freeman confirmed that he has requested that the result be investigated by British Cycling.
He said: “The question mark is the relegation. Why were we not told about that on the night? Why has that become the issue days after a race has taken place?
“What was unique for Smithfield is that there was 90 minutes approximately between the end of the women’s race and the presentation on the podium. That in my opinion is plenty of time to look at the result, and the photo finish, to clarify the result.
“I asked for the photo finish for Monday; I was told it was OK to see that, but then on Tuesday night that I was told Hannah had been relegated. Now, if there’s a relegation, I think that the team management should be told immediately. If an appeal [of the race result] is relevant, that surely has to happen within 24 hours? As a result, we could only lodge an appeal on Wednesday night to FACE Partnership to request the timing chip data and the photo finish.
“We all know that people celebrate when they win a race. The sprint was deemed to be just two riders – Dani King in third was a couple of bike lengths behind Hannah and Laura – so the charge of dangerous riding is questionable. Maybe if there had been several other riders close to her it could stand up.
“They commissaires have also said that it was a dangerous move [to celebrate] because the leaders were approaching riders who were about to be lapped. Again, they should have been removed from the race. Also, Hannah would be slowing down after the line while the others would still be racing, so again, is that dangerous? That is something else I want to raise.
“I don’t see that FACE owe us an apology. They are duty bound to go by what the commissaires have told them, so that’s why I want to her what British Cycling say on the case.”
Who really won the women’s Nocturne?