Pendleton happy to go out on high
April 7, 2012 14:22 pm
Victoria Pendleton bowed out of her final Track Cycling World Championships on Saturday buoyed by her epic sprint success and looking forward to a grand finale at the London Olympic Games.
The 31-year-old from Bedfordshire finished her 11th World Championships with her sixth sprint title on Friday, fourth in the team sprint alongside Jess Varnish and on Saturday she was 12th in the keirin at the Hisense Arena in Melbourne.
She is set to ride all three events on the Olympic track in August before retiring, meaning she will not be venturing to the Belarus capital of Minsk next February - in temperatures of -20C - for the 2013 World Championships.
It was the sprint semi-final win over perennial rival Anna Meares of Australia, who won the keirin, which gave Pendleton most pleasure - and belief - after she picked herself up from a heavy crash in the first match of the best-of-three contest before winning the decider by millimetres.
Pendleton said: "I didn't think it was really possible coming into competition to win the sprint - I thought I had more chance in the team sprint and the keirin to be perfectly honest - so it's been a pleasant surprise.
"She (Meares) was three tenths (of a second) faster than me in qualifying.
"Usually that would be an easy ride; you'd ride over someone without any concern or really requiring much tactics. It's quite a big gap in sprinting.
"For it to be close and for me to come through that I'm really happy with that.
"The Olympics is the big one - that's the one we're aiming for. I think it's a pretty good stepping stone."
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