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Billy on the Box: Close to home, welcome to the velodrome

A brand spanking new velodrome for London 2012 and a new presenter for the BBC at the weekend’s World Cup cycling jamboree in Manchester.



I fear the legacy for the track may last longer than Ore Oduba’s as the only thing that looked less comfortable was that poor Malaysian bloke who was speared through his leg by a massive splinter during the madness that is the Kierin race.

To the uninitiated, the Kierin is not a race for Irish people, it is a Japanese (hence why it’s violent) event where the riders are led round the track for a while by a wee man on a moped, who clears off and all hell breaks loose.

It was carnage, but thankfully from a BBC point of view, Sir Chris Hoy emerged unscathed to win one of the precious few golds won by Britain at the weekend, while off the track Jill Douglas rescued the car crash that was her main presenter.

As Lord Hoy rode round taking the applause, behind him was like downtown Cairo, bruised and battered men picking up bits of bikes and stumbling across the finishing line, but poor Mr Awang (pictured) rolled over it on a stretcher and still came third.

I would rather watch him though than Ore, elevated from Newsround, but John Craven he is not, and had me craving from someone to tell Jill to jump on the moped and grab the microphone.

The Beeb are clearly doing live auditions for the Olympics next year but how Jill, who comes across as knowing what she’s talking about and making sense, didn’t get this gig I’ll never know. It’s like Jeremy Paxman turning up at the Newsnight studio to find Keith Chegwin sitting in his chair.

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She even kept her cool as behind her in an interview with Lady Victoria ‘I can’t really be bothered’ Pendleton, Sir Chris appeared bedecked in a tartan towel and at least we now know what a Scotsman wears under his cycling shorts — nothing.


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