01 October 2020

Olympic blog: Emotion at the velodrome

August 7, 2012
Olympic blog: Emotion at the velodrome

It was an emotional night for Team GB at the last session of Olympic track cycling at the velodrome, with gold medals won, gold medals lost, retirements begun and history made.

Tonight was always set to be a special night – with the finals of the women’s omnium, the women’s individual sprint and the men’s keirin. Which translates to three gold medal opportunities for a wildly successful Team GB.

After Beijing, and the rule change that limited a country to one competitor per event, it was said that Team GB could never dominate track cycling in the same way at the Olympics as they did in China. How wrong they were.

Out of the ten events on the calendar Great Britain won seven of them, they got one silver and one bronze and only failed to medal in one.

But tonight was an important night not just because of Team GB’s ranking on the medal table, but because it signalled the end of an era as the last time we will see either Victoria Pendleton or Chris Hoy on the Olympic stage.

Pendleton has made her intentions to retire after London 2012 clear whilst Hoy hopes to carry on to the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014 but won’t ride on to Rio.

Since these two first started competing, cycling has undergone a transformation in Britain, and they have been a big part of that. To say it’s the end of an era is no exaggeration.

But it’s so exciting to see that as Pendleton hangs up her track shoes, 20 year old Laura Trott is more than ready and waiting to take over the mantle as queen of the track.

She’s talented, exciting, determined and full of energy. She talks as well to the camera as she performs on the bike. If track cycling needs a new face, then I think they have found it.

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