Friday, August 3, 2012

Pendleton storms to keirin gold

Victoria Pendleton claimed Great Britain's third gold medal in two days of competition at the London 2012 Olympic velodrome with a stunning triumph in the keirin.
Moments after watching Ed Clancy, Geraint Thomas, Peter Kennaugh and Steven Burke clock a world record three minutes 51.659 seconds to triumph by a supreme margin ahead of arch-rivals Australia, Pendleton delivered in her least favoured event.
In the event which begins behind a motorised Derny bike, the 31-year-old from Stotfold, who is set to retire after London 2012, stormed to victory. Guo Shuang of China was second, with Lee Wai Sze of Hong Kong third.
The win sparked jubilant scenes from coach Jan van Eijden, British Cycling performance director Dave Brailsford and head coach Shane Sutton and was Britain's third gold medal of the track programme after Sir Chris Hoy, Philip Hindes and Jason Kenny won the men's team sprint on day one.

Victoria Pendleton celebrates after winning keirin gold on the line

Victoria Pendleton celebrates after winning keirin gold on the line

It was Britain's third success from four events. Pendleton won the second gold after her Olympic sprint title in 2008 and continued an eventful final competition for the multiple world champion.
World champion Anna Meares made an early move as soon as the pace-setting bike went off, but Pendleton accelerated from one-and-a-half laps to go and took to the front before sensationally pulling away to claim her second Olympic gold. Meares, of Australia, was a distant fifth. Pendleton celebrated with her fiance Scott Gardner, a coach with British Cycling.
Pendleton said it was hard not to be distracted by the excitement British riders' success was causing in the velodrome.
"I can barely believe it right now," Pendleton told BBC1. "It was really hard with the excitement of the great job the girls did qualifying with a world record and then the guys smash the world record and win a gold medal - I was just, like, 'Focus, Vic, focus. You've still got a race'. But it was so hard. I can't believe it.
"Thank you so much to everyone who's helped me get here. The crowd have been fantastic and it really helped me."
Told she had produced the perfect tactical race, Pendleton said: "I think Jan [van Eijden, coach] might have something to say about that. But he said to me, 'Don't look for their race. Just make your own. When it's your moment, just go'. My legs were good from last night and I still wanted to really show what I've got and it worked out okay, I guess.

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