Cycling lights should have been fixed pre-Olympics

No crib for a... sausage roll

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Let us go back eight years to the Beijing Olympics and Team GB’s astonishing cyclists who finished those games with 14 medals – 12 on the track and two on the road.

We move on to London 2012 when our blazing saddles rode away with 12 – nine on the track and three on the asphalt.

And a quick reminder of the haul at Rio 2016: again 12 with 11 coming in the velodrome and one on the road.

We could go back further to Barcelona in 1992 and Chris Boardman’s gold in the individual pursuit. It was after that public imagination-grabbing performance that the nation suddenly began to fall in love with their bikes. Two years later huge crowds packed Portsmouth, southern Hampshire and West Sussex when we staged a leg of the Tour de France.

The point is: we do cycling well. Sensationally well. Barcelona was just the start. At every Olympics since we have come away with a saddlebag bursting with medals. In fact, it’s what we’ve come to expect.

And so the interest in the sport and simply riding for pleasure has exploded: particularly in flat, traffic-choked Portsmouth which is supposed to be bike-friendly.

So why on earth have Portsmouth City Council and Parkwood Community Leisure, the operators of the Mountbatten Centre, failed to fix a new lighting system at the cycle track to cater for the burgeoning interest? In an Olympics year too when a cycling surge was bound to happen.

It is nearly nine months since the death of a man electrocuted on a nearby football pitch and it could be another six before cyclists can train there under lights.

Yes, it will cost money, but someone should have taken the initiative months ago to ensure a new system was in place to cater for the post-Olympic boom with perhaps another Laura Trott or Jason Kenny among them.

Why are these wheels turning so slowly? The pair need their heads banged together – in tandem.