Victoria Pendleton won the national 500-metre time trial title for the eighth time in her career at Manchester. It was also her 25th national track gold medal.
The British National Track Championships got underway with three finals on Tuesday.
Pendleton is honing her form ahead of the European Track Championships in Pruszkow, Poland, in November.
The Europeans, which used to be an under-23 competition, are now open to senior athletes and carry vital qualification points for the Olympic Games.
Some of Britain’s top riders, including Pendleton, have decided to skip the Commonwealth Games in Delhi in order to time their peak for the Europeans and get off to a flyer in the bid to secure places at London 2012.
Pendleton (Sky Track Cycling) went under 35 seconds, recording a time of 34.636, and admitted she was not at her best yet.
She was the only rider to break that barrier. Motorpoint’s Becky James, fresh from her recent success in the sprint at the European Under-23 Championships, won the silver medal. Another teenager, Jess Varnish of Halesowen, was third.
The pursuiter Wendy Houvenaghel was ninth with a decent time of 38.644. Another endurance rider, Sarah Storey, was 11th in 39.091 seconds. They were using the 500-metre event as a tune-up to improve their starts ahead of their pursuit rides.
Sir Chris Hoy led the Sky Track Cycling trio to success in the men’s team sprint. His team-mates in the competition were Ross Edgar, Jason Kenny and Matt Crampton.
After qualifying first, in a time of 44.810 seconds, they caught the North West Region team in their semi-final to set up a clash with Hoy’s old club, City of Edinburgh, in the final. Sky were too strong in the gold medal race. Scienceinsport.com took the bronze medal.
The other final on the opening day of competition was the women’s Madison. Motorpoint-Marshalls Pasta duo Hannah Barnes and Hannah Walker pipped Dani King and Ella Hopkins in the final sprint to clinch gold. Harriet Owen and Laura Trott were third.
The competition continues with the women’s team sprint and points race, the men’s scratch race and the paracycling time trial today (Wednesday). The event runs until Saturday, when Team Sky will line up for the men’s team pursuit with Ben Swift, Geraint Thomas, Peter Kennaugh and Ian Stannard set to be in action for them.