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Another night, another win – Victoria Pendleton (Team Sky+ HD) swept away the opposition to take the national sprint title at Manchester velodrome on Wednesday night.
Reaching the final of the women’s individual sprint with apparent ease, Olympic and world champion Pendleton then dismissed Jess Varnish (Halesowen A&CC) in two straight heats during the second day of racing at the 2009 British Track National Championships.
Resplendent in her world champion’s jersey, Pendleton, who is also the Olympic champion in the discipline, cruised around the outside of the 18-year-old Varnish to win the national title by several bike lengths.
“I’m really pleased with my form,” commented Pendleton. “It’s probably the fastest I’ve been going at this time of year, I’ve never gone into a World Cup with this much speed, so it’s very reassuring that my training has paid off – it bodes well for next week”.
In the fight for bronze, emerging talent Rebecca James (Abergavenny RC) saw off Helen Scott (Halesowen A&CC) in two straight heats.
Men’s scratch race
Chris Newton (Rapha-Condor) managed to fend off a concerted effort by 100% ME riders Alex Dowsett and Mark Christian to win the men’s scratch race.
Newton, now a seven-time national champion in the scratch race, looked more than comfortable in the face of a double-pronged attack from Dowsett and Christian, leading from the front to take a comfortable victory.
Newton escaped in the latter stages of an attacking race taking with him the 100% ME duo, before dismissing them both his ferocious turn of speed.
The Rapha Condor rider’s win was an important step in his bid to claim a place in the omnium team for the 2012 Olympics and proving that he has the versatility to stand a chance of winning a medal.
Women’s individual pursuit
In the women’s individual pursuit, Paralympian Sarah Storey (VC St Raphael) convincingly took the win, beating Hannah Mayho (100% ME) in the final. Up-and-coming Dani King (Vision 1 Racing) showed her flexibility to take the bronze medal in the event.
Facing 100% ME rider Hannah Mayho in the final, the defending Paralympic champion in the discipline, Sarah Storey, held her nerve as Mayho blasted away from the gun amassing a lead of almost three seconds after just one kilometre.
Storey demonstrated her experience and kept her cool to peg back Mayho before putting almost five seconds into the youngster by the finish.
“I wasn’t as quick as I’d hoped, but I’m really chuffed nevertheless,” commented Storey.
“Hannah rode a fantastic race and going off really quickly at the start was her way of putting me under a lot of pressure.
“I was riding a 98inch gear,” Storey added, “so it took a while to get going but once I was in full flight I started to chip away at her and reeled her in.
“It’s a situation I’ve been in before, I wasn’t panicking, I was just trusting my own legs and when I started to see her I knew it was game over and I could relax a bit”.
British Track National Championships 2009: Women’s sprint
1. Victoria Pendleton (Team Sky+ HD)
2. Jess Varnish (Halesowen A&CC)
3. Rebecca James (Abergavenny RC)
4. Helen Scott (Halesowen A&CC)
Men’s scratch race
1. Chris Newton (Rapha Condor)
2. Alex Dowsett (100% ME)
3. Mark Christian (100% ME)
4. Ben Swift (Team Katusha)
5. Ed Clancy (Halfords Bikehut)
6. Evan Oliphant (Endura)
7. James McCallum (Endura)
8. Sam Harrison (Planet X)
9. George Atkins (Websters)
10. Daniel McLay (Hargroves)
Women’s individual pursuit
1. Sarah Storey (VC St Raphael) 3-40.244
2. Hannah Mayho (100% ME) 3-45.025
3. Dani King (Vision 1 Racing) 3-50.717
4. Corrine Hall (Team Corridori) 3-51.926
5. Ella Sadler-Andrews (Teamwalli) 3-53.775
6. Emma Grant (DNA Cycles) 3-57.350
7. Rachel Turner (VC St Raphael) 3-58.558
8. Emile Fisher (XRT) 4-10.252
Schedule of events
Tuesday 20 October: Men’s kilo, women’s 500m time trial
Wednesday 21 October: Men’s scratch race, women’s sprint, women’s 3,000m individual pursuit
Thursday 22 October: Men’s sprint, men’s 4,000m individual pursuit, women’s scratch race
Friday 23 October: Men’s points race, men’s team sprint, women’s points race, women’s team sprint
Saturday 24 October: Men’s keirin, men’s team pursuit, women’s keirin, women’s team pursuit, junior and paracycling events
Above: Pendleton grits her teeth in the sprint final
Above: Newton (centre) celebrates with Dowsett (l) and Christian (r)
Above: Storey en route to victory in the pursuit
Images courtesy of http://new.britishcycling.org.uk/