Chris Hoy and Victoria Pendleton completed a clean sweep of the sprint titles here in Laoshan on the final day of track racing, each winning their sprint competitions.
Hoy?s win wrote the Scotsman in to the sporting record books as he became the first Briton in 100 years to win three golds in one Olympics. He added the sprint competition to his team sprint and Keirin titles when he beat team-mate Jason Kenny 2-0 in the final.
Kenny had offered Hoy some fierce competition in both legs of the final, which is more than can be said for any other sprinter in this competition.
Kenny was forced to lead out both sprints, and in the first Hoy only just came past the 20-year-old from Bolton. British Cycling?s sprint coach Jan Van Eijden, the tactical mastermind who has helped Britain?s sprinters become world beaters, had been ordered not to give either rider any advice, leaving them to figure it out for themselves.
With a greater top end speed, but not necessarily more match sprint experience, it was always Hoy with the advantage. The Scot has not once been beaten during these Olympics. He was in the fastest Team Sprint trio in each of their three rides (as was Kenny), won all his Keirin rounds and then qualified fastest in the sprint before beating every rider who dared get on the track with him.
It was a stunning set of rides set over five gruelling days for the Scot whose emotions finally got the better of him once it was all over.
Pendleton fulfils potential
Having contemplated giving up the sport after her nightmare in Athens, Victoria Pendleton was equally dominant in the women?s sprint. The 27-year-old from Hitchin in Hertfordshire set an Olympic record in qualifying and was never really challenged in any of her matches.
No other female sprinter has progressed at the same rate as Pendleton, and all her former foes have faded in her wake. Worlds silver medallist Simona Krupeckaite was so intimidated by Pendleton?s prowess that she was panicked in to starting her quarter-final sprints against the Brit almost from the gun.
It was a tactic doomed to failure as Pendleton has always had the edge when it comes to top end speed and duly beat the Lithuanian by several bike lengths.
Pendleton said afterwards that her transformation was in large part to the team?s psychiatrist Steve Peters. Dave Brailsford has often referred to Peters simply as ?a genius? as he has worked wonders with many of the British riders, and indeed the staff, helping them focus on nothing but the task in hand.
The task now in hand would seem to be having a massive party, and that?s not something you need a psychiatrist for.
|OLYMPIC GAMES 2008: TRACK|
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|OLYMPIC GAMES 2008: NEWS|
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|OLYMPIC GAMES 2008: ROAD|
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|OLYMPIC GAMES 2008: GUIDE|
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