Hoy leaves rivals gasping

08 April 2012 / 15:45

Sir Chris Hoy sent out an ominous warning to his rivals ahead of the London Olympic Games with an astonishing keirin victory on the final day of the Track Cycling World Championships in Melbourne.

There was an audible gasp from onlookers at the Hisense Arena as Hoy won his fourth world keirin gold with a manoeuvre which astounded and demonstrated nothing can be ruled out as far as the four-time Olympic champion is concerned.

Hoy, the 2007, 2008 and 2010 world champion and Olympic champion in Beijing in the event which begins behind a motorised Derny bike, appeared to be boxed in on the final bend, but accelerated as a gap opened up between Germany's Maximilian Levy and Simon van Velthooven of New Zealand before lunging for the line.

Hoy, accustomed to leading from the front "Forest Gump-style", punched the air with delight, but an 11th World Championships gold medal of his distinguished career was confirmed only after a photo finish.

Levy was second an, after the officials relegated Van Velthooven from third place for an infringement, Jason Kenny claimed bronze.

Hoy, who is in a selection battle with Kenny for the one sprint place in London, said: "How did I do that? With half a lap to go it was looking pretty bleak.

"I was thinking 'I've got a chance of getting silver here' - I just kept driving.

"Levy seemed to tie up in the last few metres and I threw the bike and couldn't believe I'd won it."

Hoy responded from losing the sprint semi-final to Kenny on the penultimate day, when he claimed bronze, with a stunning showing in his favourite event.

"It's great to bounce back," the 36-year-old from Edinburgh added. "You're never 100% sure you can win, but I had belief I've got good form."