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Victoria Pendleton is set to aim for a clean sweep of the sprinting titles at the World Track Championships this week.
In Palma, Majorca, two years ago, Pendleton won the sprint, Keirin and team sprint titles, but skipped the 500-metre time trial because the event programme squeezed it between sprint heats.
This year the 500 metres is on Wednesday. The team sprint is on Thursday, before the sprint qualifying rounds start on Friday afternoon, with the final on Saturday. Then the Keirin is on Sunday.
Although it means a packed five-day schedule for Pendleton, she?s keen to win a full set of medals.
?Last year the 500 was squashed between the sprint heats so it wasn?t possible practically. This time around I?m really doing it because I can,? she said.
In Beijing last summer there was only one event for the women sprinters to contest, a scandalous state of affairs that must be changed before London 2012. Winning all four world titles in the same week would prove what most in British Cycling?s sprint coaching set-up know: that she?s the very best in the world.
However, Pendleton admits she is not quite as strong as she was at the Worlds in Manchester last year, and is below her Olympic Games peak.
As Jamie Staff revealed to cyclingweekly.co.uk last week, Pendleton has been working on her standing starts in training, producing some personal best times, which will stand her in good stead for the 500 metres.
She has not ridden the event at World Championship level since Bordeaux in 2006, where she was fourth. Since the event was dropped from the Olympic Games, along with the men?s kilometre, she has focused on the sprint.
Although Pendleton won the 500 metres at the Manchester World Cup in October, it was not against a field of the world?s best. The 500 metres will be the most difficult of the four for her to win, but if she is successful she?ll be in with a great chance.
She?ll team up with Shanaze Reade to defend the team sprint title they won in 2007 and 2008. In the sprint she?s only been beaten in a head-to-head race once in the past year ? and that was in the semi-final at the Copenhagen World Cup by Willy Kanis. Pendleton came back to win the match 2-1 and then beat Clara Sanchez in the final.
The fourth discipline, the Keirin, is the least predictable of the four. She crashed in the Copenhagen World Cup last month, but has won the world title before, in 2007.
PENDLETON?S WORLD TITLES
Sprint: 2005, 2007, 2008
Team sprint: 2007, 2008 (with Shanaze Reade)
2009 UCI TRACK CYCLING WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
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