October 30 - Sir Chris Hoy (pictured), Geraint Thomas and Victoria Pendleton demonstrated that Britain's cyclists are back to their best with stunning performances at the UCI Track World Cup event int the Manchester Velodrome.


 On the eve of 1,000 days countdown before the London Games open in 2012, Sir Chris, who was knighted after winning three gold medals as the British team dominated in Beijing last year, marked his return to major international competition following injury by winning the keirin.


Pendleton also ruled - but only after a scare in a thrilling sprint final.


The world and Olympic gold medallist was taken to a deciding ride by China's Shuang Guo before finally taking the title.

But both their performances were usurped by Thomas, who clocked 4min 15.015sec in individual pursuit qualification - a time only bettered by world record holder Chris Boardman - before winning the final with ease.

Britain can now lay claim to having the three fastest four-kilometre pursuit riders in history in Boardman - world record holder after setting 4:11.114 against the clock in Manchester in August 1996 - Thomas and Bradley Wiggins.

Thomas, Olympic champion in the team pursuit, expressed surprise at his ride as he has little experience in the individual event.

He said: "It's shocking really.


"That [the qualifying ride] is only the third race I've ever done.


"I knew I was going well, I just didn't know how well until now."

Many believe Boardman's record is unsurpassable as he was riding in the "Superman'"position which has since been banned.


Thomas certainly made a good attempt.

Three-time world and double Olympic champion Wiggins watched on as Thomas beat his personal best of 4:15.031, set as he won gold in Beijing.

Unfortunately for the 23-year-old from Cardiff, the pursuit is set to be dropped from the Olympic programme for London in changes proposed by the UCI to gain gender parity.

Thomas said: "It's disappointing, because obviously I'm not bad at it - I would've definitely been going for that.


"The worlds are still massive in my mind.


"The Olympics is big, but getting that world title for an individual pursuit would still be massive for me.


"That's definitely something I'm going to go for."


Chris Newton, at 36 the oldest rider in Britain's team, showed age is no barrier by adding gold number for for Britain in the exhausting 60-lap points race.