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LIGHTNING STRIKES TWICE FOR KILLEEN; BOXER BRINGS BRITAIN MORE GLORY BUT IT'S STRUGGLE ON THE TRACK.

Byline: BY SCOTT DOUGAL

GREAT Britain's Liam Killeen missed out on a mountain biking medal after going over his handlebars for the second Olympics running.

Worcestershire rider Killeen, 26, Ynished seventh, two minutes and 22 seconds off a bronze medal.

The Commonwealth Games gold-medallist lost over two minutes early in the Yrst of eight laps of the 4.5 kilometres rolling circuit.

Killeen, who Ynished Yfth in Athens after going over his handlebars on the Yrst bend, found himself dead last after hauling his bike back on to the course.

He had to make a pit stop because his handlebars had been knocked out of alignment and then fought back through the Yeld just as he did four years ago.

"I came over the brow of a small hill. I went just too far over to the left and Iwent into a little bit of a trench then Wipped over the bars," said Killeen. "I feel like I did a podium ride."

Killeen added: "It was one of those things that happen in bike racing.

"You can be upright one minute, the next minute you're on the Woor. I just had an unfortunate Yrst 300 metres.

"I was trying to battle to the front but unfortunately 40 other guys were trying to do the same thing.

"I just touched wheels and went off the course into a bit of a gully and went over the bars.

"That wasn't such a problem as much as my bars were twisted so I had to ride it with twisted bars to the pits and then the mechanic had to work on the bike and it just left me a little frustrated.

Prepared

"It was tough but I made the best of the situation today. I'm fed up with having to chase my way back through the Yeld.

"The course suited me. I came here last September and I knew the proYle of the course would suit me but in cycling you have to have a little bit of luck on the day."

Killeen's Great Britain teammate Oli Beckingsale, 32, Ynished a creditable 12th in hot conditions for which the Bristolian was well prepared.

Beckingsale had been training in his greenhouse to mimic the conditions out at the Laoshan bike centre on the southwest edge of Beijing.

Defending champion and four-time world champion Julien Absalon from France retained his title with an impressive ride in which he led from the front.

CAPTION(S):

CRASH: Liam Killeen; LIP SERVICE: James DeGale gives his gold medal a smacker
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England)
Date:Aug 24, 2008
Words:422
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