Battered, bruised and emotional Pendleton takes “most significant” world cycling title
Friday, 06 April 2012
April 6 - Victoria Pendleton collapsed in tears after a day of dramatically fluctuating fortunes for her ended with her earning a sixth sprint title at the World Track Cycling Championships in Melbourne which re-stated her case for defending her Olympic title in London.
Britain's Olympic champion took gold after her opponent, Simona Krupeckaite, was disqualified after appearing to level the best of three final.
The Lithuanian was adjudged to have left her racing lane going into the final bend and to have misused her elbows at the bell.
Pendleton's emotions had already been tested in the semi-final against home rider Anna Meares.
A misjudgement in the final straight of the first race sent the British rider slewing across the track, where she remained for a couple of minutes before being helped up and treated for track burns on her shoulder, elbow and hip.
Meares crossed the line first again in the second race, but was disqualified after leaving her racing line and threatening to take out the front wheel of her British rival, who slowed as a precautionary measure.
In the deciding third race, Pendleton found her old, killing speed in the closing metres to edge past the home rider and silence the crowd.
"This is probably the most significant and probably the most emotional, being the last time I'm going to do this," Pendleton said.
"It means a lot to me.
"It probably means as much as the first one [in Los Angeles in 2005], which was special, because I never thought I had the ability to be world champion."
April 2012: Two world records and one world gold in a day for Britain's female team pursuit cyclists
April 2012: GB men cyclists deliver "kick in the guts" to Australia with world team pursuit record
February 2012: Olympic chance for Hindes as Brailsford gets ruthless in London 2012 build-up