A MINUTE WITH: VICTORIA PENDLETON
The triple world champion on the track is one of Britain’s brightest hopes for gold at the Beijing Olympics next year
This has been a great year for you, and you must be looking forward to 2008?
It’s been awesome, better than I could ever have imagined. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for next year, hopefully it will be even better. I’m trying to keep everything very similar in terms of my training and structure, and hopefully that will be enough to get me there. If I’m in the same position as this year for the Worlds I wouldn’t be disappointed, but I’d like to push on a bit further.
Cycling is in your family so was it inevitable that you would start racing?
I think so. From an early age I remember following my dad, going to races, so it was only natural. It just happened.
Did you play any other sports?
Quite a lot of field hockey, and when I was at school I used to play everything else I could — cross-country, athletics, netball and rugby.
What has been your best moment in cycling?
My world keirin title this year
And your worst?
The Olympic Games in Athens — that was just a big disappointment generally.
If you weren’t cycling, what would you be doing now?
I think I’d be a gym instructor, that’s something I would quite like to do.
What do you see yourself doing in 10 years’ time?
Probably not cycling! I’d like to be involved in sport — who knows, by then I might be training to be the performance director.
How do you relax?
I love baking. There’s a sponge cake — we call it a French cake — with apricot jam, Grand Marnier on the sponge and dark chocolate. It’s very, very nice.
What is your favourite film?
I really like Gladiator — Russell Crowe is gorgeous in it. I don’t really like the man as an actor generally, but that brings a tear to my eye.
What about your taste in music?
I think the Foo Fighters would be my favourite, that’s the music I like to listen to when I get up and race. It’s aggressive, a bit angry and I like that. It gets me in the mood.
Who is your sporting hero?
I have to say Chris Hoy — and I’m lucky enough to train with him now! When I was growing up at school Sally Gunnell was probably the most successful sportswoman of the time, so definitely her.
What would you say to anyone who wants to try the sport?
Give it a whirl. I didn’t come into it until late, I didn’t race seriously until I finished university, so it’s never too late and if you are not successful now, just keep trying and take your opportunities.
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