Sir Chris Hoy says: 'Bring on England'

CROSS border rivalry with the so-called Auld Enemy will be a key aspect of this year's Commonwealth Games, according to Sir Chris Hoy.

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Sir Chris says the Auld Enemy rivalry will be a key aspect of the Games
Sir Chris says the Auld Enemy rivalry will be a key aspect of the Games

The Olympic cyclist who won two Commonwealth gold medals and two bronze during his career, said the Games are unique, particularly for British athletes who are used to training and competing in the same team.

Sir Chris, an ambassador for Glasgow 2014, retired last summer and will not compete in the velodrome which is named after him, but he is looking forward to watching the action from the sidelines.

He has fond memories of competing at the Commonwealth Games in Manchester in 2002 and Melbourne four years later, where Scotland defeated England in the men's team sprint final.

Sir Chris said: "The Commonwealth Games are unique for British athletes because it's the one chance to compete for your 'home nation'.

"For me, particularly Manchester in 2002 and also Melbourne four years later, we trained as a GB team up until maybe only three or four weeks before the event then went our separate ways.

"It was funny because your team mates for three-and-a-half-years are all of a sudden your rivals.

"In particular, I remember the team sprint in Melbourne when it was Scotland and England in the final and to line up against your usual teammates knowing what was at stake: the pride, the bragging rights and, obviously, the medals.

"So to beat the English team was fantastic."

The 37-year-old was speaking as he returned to the track at Glasgow's Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome to test a new range of bikes he has helped develop and pass on some tips to a group of amateur riders.

Sir Chris also said he hopes big-name athletes from Commonwealth countries will compete at Glasgow 2014 to help make it a memorable event.

He said: "I think it's crucial to the success of the Games when the big names turn up and support them. And, apart from anything else, it's still an amazing feeling to win a Commonwealth Games medal for your home nation.

"As far as I'm aware, Usain Bolt has not won a Commonwealth Games gold medal yet.

"So for him, I'm sure he wants to be here and take the medals back to Jamaica."

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