Fans blast ‘cheating’ Danish cycling team for causing crash that saw Team GB knocked out of Olympics


Furious fans have called for Denmark to be kicked out of the men’s cycling team pursuit at the Olympics after a Danish rider smashed into the back of a Team GB cyclist before screaming ‘f*** them’ at the British team. 

The extraordinary clash, which saw Team GB dumped out of the competition while the Danes advanced to the gold medal final, came just hours after Denmark was accused of cheating by wearing tape to make their riders go faster. 

The Danes broke the Olympic record in qualifying on Monday but teams, including Great Britain, complained about the shin tape and undervests they were wearing, believing them to be illegal. 

Cycling bosses agreed but decided to give Denmark a warning rather than disqualifying them from the match against Team GB. 

The row then took another turn today as Danish rider Frederik Madsen ploughed into the back of Team GB’s Charlie Tanfield before screaming ‘f*** them’ at the British team.

Tanfield, the late replacement for Ed Clancy, had been left behind by his British team-mates and was riding alone – still in the race – when he was hit from behind by Madsen.

A furious Madsen, who wasn’t looking where he was going as the lead rider, then jumped to his feet and angrily stood over Tanfield before screaming abuse at Team GB – forcing BBC commentators to apologise for his language. 

He later apologised for his outburst and told MailOnline: ‘I knew that we were getting close to TeamGB but half a lap before I hit Charlie I saw him and then suddenly he was right in front of me and I could not react.

‘I was so tired that point I didn’t know if he was 10 or 20 metres away. I hope Charlie is ok. It’s awful for this to happen at an Olympic semi-final.

‘There were so many emotions running through me. I was not shouting at Charlie. I was shouting in frustration. I did not say anything at Charlie.

‘I shouted because I was frustrated. Not at Charlie but at the situation. I am not at the Olympics to run into someone and crash. I did not want to be on the ground. I just hope Charlie is ok.’

After a delay, cycling bosses announced Denmark would be allowed to move onto the gold medal match against Italy, dashing British hopes and leading to more calls to disqualify the Danes.

The result also ends Britain’s domination of the event, with Team GB winning the last three Olympic gold medals in team pursuit. 

Discussing the controversial shin tape, furious British Cycling performance director Stephen Park said: ‘Do I think they should be disqualified? I don’t think there is any alternative. The rules are clear. It says you cannot apply something to the skin. They have applied something to the skin. 

Denmark’s Frederik Madsen (top) bizarrely ploughed into Team GB’s Charlie Tanfield (bottom) during the men’s cycling pursuit

Madsen then jumped to his feet and appeared to shout abuse at Tanfield - despite being the one who caused the crash

Madsen then jumped to his feet and appeared to shout abuse at Tanfield – despite being the one who caused the crash

Madsen (right), who wasn't looking where he was going, crashed into the back of Tanfield, sending both riders sprawling

Madsen (right), who wasn’t looking where he was going, crashed into the back of Tanfield, sending both riders sprawling

Madsen confronted Tanfield before the Dane was heard screaming 'f*** them' at the British team shortly after the crash

Madsen confronted Tanfield before the Dane was heard screaming ‘f*** them’ at the British team shortly after the crash

‘It says in the specific rule that if you break that rule, your option is for being eliminated or disqualified, so they have no option. There is no doubt in anyone else’s mind that it is deliberate.’

Park has not ruled out submitting a further legal challenge after they have raced against Denmark today.

He said: ‘We will have to consider whether there is any further action that we need to take, if we believe, when our legal advisers have looked at the documents, that the UCI just haven’t followed their own rules or not.’

Reacting to the crash, one fan wrote on Twitter: ‘Denmark should be disqualified. Ploughed into GB cyclist. Can’t allow that.’

Why does shin tape give cyclists an advantage and what do the rules say? 

The Danish men’s pursuit team triggered fury at the Olympics after all four cyclists were spotted wearing the same tape on their shins during qualifying. 

The tape, known as kinesiology tape, was placed on their shins, from the within the sock to just below the knee. Kinesiology tape is regularly used to support muscles and joints – however in this case was applied to all four Danish riders in the same place. 

According to Cycling News, the position of the tape could give the Danes an unfair advantage. 

The tape would ‘trip the airflow’, creating turbulence with the onrushing air during the race. This would improve the aerodynamic performance of the riders by lowering drag and helping airflow stay attached for longer. 

The effect is said to be akin to the riders wearing high socks. In 2019, the UCI introduced a sock height rule to ensure clothing is used solely as clothing and for safety, and not as a performance benefit.

It was suggested that the Danish team applied the tape to circumvent this rule.  

The rule states:  ‘Items of clothing may not modify the morphology of the rider and any non-essential element or device, of which the purpose is not exclusively that of clothing or protection, is forbidden. This shall also apply regarding any material or substance applied onto the skin or clothing and which is not itself an item of clothing.’  

Another said: ‘How Denmark haven’t been disqualified is a mystery! Very unlikable cycling team.’ 

While a third wrote: ‘Denmark should be disqualified. What disgraceful behaviour shouting over Charlie Tanfield when he was down.’ 

Olympic champion Sir Chris Hoy said the blame for the crash was clear, though he stopped short of calling for the Danes to be disqualified. 

He said: ‘As the lead rider in the team, you always have to keep your eyes on the team you’re pursuing. It’s called the pursuit for good reason. He clearly wasn’t looking.

‘Charlie Tanfield did the right thing in staying behind and on the black line, that was the Danish rider’s fault.’

The Danes broke the Olympic record in qualifying on Monday but teams, including Great Britain, complained about the shin tape and undervests they were wearing, believing them to be illegal.

Cycling’s rule makers, the UCI, banned Denmark from wearing the tape and vests for the race with Team GB for a place in the gold medal race.

However, despite the UCI admitting they have breached regulations, they only issued the Danes with a warning, not a disqualification.

There was further intrigue about the undervests worn by Denmark, which rules state must be available to buy publicly at the start of the Olympic year. 

Team GB claim that the website selling the undervest was updated in the last 24 hours to make it appear that it was for sale earlier than it was.

‘There was some debate over whether or not they did or didn’t need to be registered,’ added Park. 

‘The relevance of that was whether it was for aerodynamic gain or not and whether it was available for sale.

‘Unfortunately to the first point, the item in question, which is a HUUB garment, is actually advertised as an aerodynamic undervest, so there can be little doubt as to whether or not it is there for aerodynamic purposes or not.

‘There is also a question because none of the teams believe it was for sale on January 1, particularly as a number of teams have researched into the source code of the website and found that it was actually published in May.

‘The information relating to the kit being available on January 1 was only added in the last 24 hours.’  

Denmark's Lasse Norman Hansen, Julius Johansen, Frederik Rodenberg Madsen and Rasmus Pedersen posing in 2020

Denmark’s Lasse Norman Hansen, Julius Johansen, Frederik Rodenberg Madsen and Rasmus Pedersen posing in 2020

Tanfield was a last-minute addition to the Team GB event after three-time gold medallist Ed Clancy pulled out after aggravating his back on Tuesday

Tanfield was a last-minute addition to the Team GB event after three-time gold medallist Ed Clancy pulled out after aggravating his back on Tuesday

Madsen was behind Tanfield when he smashed into the Team GB rider - before leaping to his feet and looming over the Brit

Madsen was behind Tanfield when he smashed into the Team GB rider – before leaping to his feet and looming over the Brit

After a delay, cycling bosses then announced Denmark would be allowed to move onto the gold medal match against Italy, dashing British hopes and leading to more calls to disqualify the Danes

After a delay, cycling bosses then announced Denmark would be allowed to move onto the gold medal match against Italy, dashing British hopes and leading to more calls to disqualify the Danes

Yesterday, Denmark broke the Olympic record while wearing shin tape and undervests (pictured above) to give them an aerodynamic advantage in qualifying

Yesterday, Denmark broke the Olympic record while wearing shin tape and undervests (pictured above) to give them an aerodynamic advantage in qualifying

GB appealed about Denmark's kit overnight and the UCI agreed it breached regulations. However, they gave the Danes a warning rather than disqualifying them

GB appealed about Denmark’s kit overnight and the UCI agreed it breached regulations. However, they gave the Danes a warning rather than disqualifying them

Gold medal winner Chris Boardman questioned the validity of Denmark's kit on Monday

Gold medal winner Chris Boardman questioned the validity of Denmark’s kit on Monday 

Yet some users online did not agree with Boardman, pointing towards GB's superior finances

Yet some users online did not agree with Boardman, pointing towards GB’s superior finances 

The Danish team were given a warning yet were not disqualified by cycling's governing body

The Danish team were given a warning yet were not disqualified by cycling’s governing body 

The row comes amid another successful day in Tokyo for Team GB, as they added two sailing gold medals to bring their total to 13 – and leapfrog the Russian Olympic Committee into fifth in the overall medal table. 

The first gold medal came in the most dramatic imaginable circumstances, with Dylan Fletcher and Stuart Bithell taking the 49er men’s skiff title by inches.

Then Giles Scott proved himself one of Britain’s greatest ever sailors ever by winning his second Olympic title in the Finn.

Meanwhile, back in the Velodrome, in the women’s team pursuit final, Laura Kenny was stopped from becoming the first British woman to win gold at three Olympics after Team GB lost to the Germans.

Her husband Jason Kenny equalled fellow cyclist Bradley Wiggins’ tally of eight medals when he won silver in the team sprint, making him the joint most successful British Olympian.

John Gimson and Anna Burnet earned Britain’s third sailing medal of the day with silver in the mixed Nacra 17, and diver Jack Laugher won bronze in the men’s 3m springboard.

Team GB have also guaranteed their best boxing medal haul for 101 years, after Galal Yafai defeated Yosvany Veitia 4-1 to reach the flyweight semi-finals. 

It means Team GB have now won six medals in boxing in this Olympics – bettering the five they won in London 2012 – only beaten by their haul in the 1920 Games.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk