By David Brenchley
Victoria Pendleton raised the roof as she successfully defended her 200m sprint title at the UCI World Cup in Manchester as Australian Belinda Goss claimed gold in the 10km scratch race.
After a tough semi-final against Olga Panarina of Belarus, which she won after a decider, the Team Sky+ HD rider overcame Shuang Guo of China in the final, again needing the full three races.
In a tense final race, Pendleton managed to edge out her opponent by half a bike wheel but she was far from impressed with herself afterwards.
She said: “My tactics were shocking today. I haven’t raced since the world championships and I rode like a wally there as well. I feel quite bad to be honest, my Mum struggles watching me race as it is.”
Panarina, who shocked the reigning Olympic champion in her semi by taking the first leg, went on to lose the bronze medal race to Lithuanian Simona Krupeckaite.
Pendleton qualified quickest, as the only rider to go sub-11 seconds, with a time of 10.998. She was just ahead of the two Chinese competitors, Shuang Guo and Jinjie Gong.
The two other Brits in the sprint, Rebecca James and Jessica Varnish squared off in the 9/10 place race, a straight one-lap shoot out as James, in her first ever international Senior event, edged her more experienced team mate out.
In the 10km scratch, Goss was one of six riders who broke from the main field along with silver medallist Evgeniya Romanyuta (Russia), bronze medallist Shelley Olds (Proman Racing Team, USA), Jamila Machacova (Czech Republic), Skye Lee Armstrong (Rodin, AUS) and Vera Koedooder (Netherlands).
Britain’s Lizzie Armitstead tried in vain to counter the attack with Kelly Druits (Belgium) but both were dragged back into the main field.The scratch qualification heats saw just one attack per race, as Koedooder and Tatsiana Sharakova (Belarus) looked to qualify in style.
Armitstead was happy to just sit in the pack and bide her time in the second heat, as she saw Sharakova ease home, and qualified comfortably behind Pascale Jeuland (France) and Cari Higgins (Proman).
Goss was delighted with her victory, saying: “It was awesome. I have been training really hard for a few years now so I am really stoked to have won my first World Cup.
“I was really happy that we won by a breakaway of six, as opposed to a normal bunch sprint."
The 25-year-old will now go into the final two days full of confidence.
“I have the points race tomorrow and team pursuit on Sunday and it would be great [to repeat her success], I will give it a go.”
photo Cheltenham jockey club
photo Cheltenham Racecourse
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