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BBC apologises for coverage of Olympics road race after complaints

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The BBC has apologised after receiving criticism for its coverage of the men's Olympic road race.

Viewers complained about the commentary and lack of time-checks and information provided on-screen during the race, in which British gold medal hopeful Mark Cavendish finished 29th.

Jake Humphrey

© BBC / Jonathan Stewart

Mark Cavendish

© PA Images / John Giles/PA Wire



Metro reports that the commentating team of Chris Boardman, Jill Douglas, Ed Leigh, Hugh Porter and Jamie Staff came in for particular criticism, with viewers lamenting their confusion over where riders had finished.

At one point it was claimed that riders who came "about 30th, 31st and 32nd" had finished in fifth, fourth and bronze position, and at the finish the commentators had stated their belief that Colombian rider Rigoberto Uran was on course to win, when in fact it was Kazakhstani cyclist Alexandr Vinokourov.

There was also background noise during Jake Humphrey's links during the broadcast, for which the presenter subsequently apologised.

Gary Lineker also apologised for the camera work, but added: "This is the Olympics - the coverage is from a pool of broadcasters across the world. I'm afraid that's how it is regardless of who hosts."

A BBC spokesman told The Guardian: "The pictures are provided by the host broadcaster OBS to all global rights holders, these are not BBC produced pictures.

"We have raised our concerns with OBS who have explained that there were GPS problems with the LOCOG supplied timing graphics, which resulted in a lack of information for the commentary teams."

The spokesman added that they were hoping the problem would be resolved in time for today's women's road race.

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