Knockbacks; In the final...his heels - Tradução em português

“I've had a few knockbacks from the team pursuit, and I'm going to discuss my future with the coaches," he said. On the road, the Yorkshire-born 24-year-old is a sprinter who can take victories in hillier races; here, his form may not have been quite good enough to earn him a slot alongside Clancy and company, but it was sparkling in the scratch race, where he attacked four laps from the finish. It was a classic late move as the sprinters are looking to save their strength for the final gallop, but there was always the risk that he might be swallowed up as the line beckoned. In the final straight the field were on his heels and the second rider in was a mere half a bike length behind on the line.

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Thomas 7 60 288
knockback
Simon, to an American. a "knockback" is an alcoholic drink, something swallowed very quickly. I will assume from the context that it has another meaning in the UK, and that meaning is "setback" (a temporary delay or defeat).

In the final straight the field were on his heels

Remember that we are reading about a bicycle race. "...in the last part of the race, the straight and level part just before the end, all the other competitors were close behind him."
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