PENDLETON TAKES THIRD GOLD TO PUT GB OUT IN FRONT
Victoria Pendleton won the women's keirin at the end of the world track championships in Palma today to take her gold medal tally to three, and the team's to seven. The result puts Pendleton in the record books and the British team on top of the world with a display so dominant throughout the four days that it left other nations wondering how they can compete.
The British team started the day with five golds already back in their hotel, but they were far from finished. Chris Hoy took his fourth kilometre title (his second gold of these championships) earlier in the day before Pendleton kept the nerves at bay to win the Keirin.
The race was descending in to farce after the outgoing champion, Germany’s Christin Muche, was disqualified almost immediately for bumping Anna Blyth, who made her way to the final with some gutsy sprinting, off the track. Then, as the derny came round the track for the restart it slowed almost to a standstill and the race was stopped once again.
Pendleton had already proved she is the fastest woman on two wheels, but as the impatient crowd jeered and whistled, she kept her calm, proving she is now mastering the nerves that have affected her in the past. After the derny swung off, Pendleton let the others battle for position before riding round them in the last lap, making it look all too easy.
Anna Blyth, an 18 year old making her debut at this level, finished fourth. An incredible result, but unluckily for her, one that is overshadowed by Pendleton’s dominance.
Chris Hoy is in equally good form, and wanted this kilometre title, his fourth and last, so he could ride his kilo record attempt in La Paz, Bolivia next month with the rainbow bands around his chest. His second gold of these championships, along with the silver in the team sprint, arguably makes him Britain’s greatest ever male sprinter.
But even Hoy, and Bradley Wiggins, who also won two gold medals in Palma, will have to play second fiddle to Pendleton at the team’s celebrations tonight. Three events, three golds, and in truth, no one got close to her.