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Page last updated at 11:31 GMT, Wednesday, 11 June 2008 12:31 UK

Pendleton ready for Olympic test

By Martin Gough

Victoria Pendleton
Pendleton won two golds at the World Track Championships in March

Track cyclist Victoria Pendleton, a favourite for gold in Beijing, says she is better prepared for her second Olympics than she was four years ago.

Pendleton, 28, considered retirement after coming ninth in the sprint in Athens but has won the world title in the event three times since then.

"The experience from Athens is going to be so valuable and I feel much better prepared for what to expect," she said.

"Of course there is pressure but more from myself than from anything else."

Pendleton was fairly new to elite track cycling at the 2004 Games, having concentrated on university studies until 2002.

"I went to Athens fairly unprepared. I'd never even thought about a Games of that scale before," she told BBC Sport

"I'd only been doing track cycling at that level for two years and it is a lot to deal with. It's a unique environment, very high stress but it's so rewarding."

"I've got a lot of support around me and my coaches seem to be happy so I'm happy with where I am. I need a bit of luck but a lot of hard work."

It's unfortunate I've only got one chance and it's quite a risky chance as well with it being a knockout competition

Victoria Pendleton

Pendleton was speaking at an event to launch Girls4Gold, a mass recruitment drive for young athletic women by UK Sport and the English Institute of Sport.

She competed in the time trial as well as the sprint in Athens four years ago, while at the World Track Championships in March she also won the team sprint and came second in the keirin.

But the time trial has been removed from the Olympic programme to make way for the new BMX events, while the team sprint and keirin are not available to women.

Victoria Pendleton on the Girls4Gold programme

"If there were more events I'd do them," Pendleton continued.

"It's unfortunate I've only got one chance and it's quite a risky chance as well with it being a knockout competition.

"It's disappointing that I've only got one to compete in but the new event, BMX, has taken its place and Shanaze Reade is a fantastic prospect for gold."

see also
Britain claim triple track gold
27 Mar 08 |  Cycling
Who will win Sports Personality?
18 Apr 08 |  Sport Homepage
Team GB for Beijing
21 May 08 |  Team GB
Cycling on the BBC
13 May 08 |  Cycling
Liam Killeen's mountain bike guide
02 Mar 06 |  Get Involved

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