As the French team sprinters stood on the podium in their rainbow jerseys, the tape player stuck and the national anthem came to a halt.

Silence.

Surely the UCI – which has been involved in a long, ugly spat with Tour de France organisers ASO and the French Cycling Federation – wouldn’t stoop so low as to kill the music during the French team’s moment of glory?

No. Of course they wouldn’t.

Credit to the crowd in the Manchester velodrome, though. Led by a decent-sized French contingent, they tackled La Marseillaise with enthusiasm.

Those who didn’t know the words, clapped along in rhythm.

Gregory Bauge, Arnaud Tournant and Kevin Sireau certainly appreciated the effort.

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