A New Zealand cycling star has been accused of producing a gesture of disrespect towards his Australian rival in the men's 4000m individual pursuit bronze medal showdown.
New Zealand's Dylan Kennett had blown Aussie Jordan Kerby away early in their head-to-head battle at the Anna Meares Velodrome on the Gold Coast and was on his way to comfortably win the bronze medal by more than four seconds.
With Kennett enjoying such a comfortable buffer heading into the final lap, the 23-year-old visibly relaxed and stood up tall with his shoulders straight on the bike, slowing dramatically.
He proceeded to stand up tall in a relaxed position where he stayed right until the finish line without any acknowledgment of the bumper crowd surrounding the track.
Aussie two-time Commonwealth Games gold medal-winning cyclist Kate Bates was shocked to see Kennett treat his Aussie rival with 'such little respect'.
She told Channel 7 in commentary that the Kiwi star's gesture appeared to be an attempt to show his dominance over the Aussie crowd.
"Well, a good ride from the New Zealander," Bates said.
"I have to say a bit disrespectful to sit up at the end like that. He didn't sit up and appreciate the crowd and wave. He just sat up as if to show his dominance over the Australian."
But Kennett said he meant no disrespect to his opponent by his movements at the end of the race and was just 'taking it easy.'
"At the 2km mark I had gained huge ground on him and I thought 'he's had enough," said Kennett.
"I knew I had the win. I didn't have to catch him, or do a fast time.
"I kind of felt a bit bad, if that makes sense. I didn't have to catch him, I didn't have to do a real fast time [as] I'd already bloody got the bronze," he said.
"If I don't have to ride four minutes hard, I'll ride three minutes hard…take it easy for the rides the next few days."
Bates' fellow commentator described Kennett's final lap as "not concerned about the time".
"He's just rolling around now. He's not too concerned about the time. He's just going to cruise onto the finish. He knows he's got the bronze medal."
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