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Page last updated at 20:18 GMT, Saturday, 28 March 2009

Pendleton wins fourth sprint gold

WORLD TRACK CYCLING CHAMPIONSHIPS
Venue: Pruszkow, Poland Dates: 25-29 March Coverage: Live on BBC Two and BBC Sport website


Victoria Pendleton finishes just ahead of Willy Kanis

Highlights - Pendleton clinches sprint crown

Britain's Victoria Pendleton won her fourth world sprint gold in five years in a nail-biting final in Pruszcow.

Pendleton pipped Dutchwoman Willy Kanis in the deciding third heat to take her third medal of the championships

"This is the hardest but most rewarding thing I've ever done," a tearful Pendleton told BBC Sport afterwards.

Great Britain's men, including Olympic silver medallist Jason Kenny, were denied medals in the sprint and Mark Cavendish missed out in the madison.

Defending champion Cavendish and Peter Kennaugh finish sixth in the madison after Kennaugh suffered a crash.

GB's Peter Kennaugh takes a fall

GB suffer madison mishap

Pendleton, who won sprint gold in 2005, 2007 and 2008 before taking the Olympic title, came into these championships with the aim of winning four medals.

But she was well aware that no Olympic medallist from Athens in 2004 managed to take world gold the following year, and she is the first Beijing winner to take gold in Poland.

Pendleton followed bronze in the 500m time trial on Wednesday with silver in the team sprint, alongside Shanaze Reade.

After easing through individual sprint qualifying on Saturday she had to battle past Olga Panarina of Belarus in the semi-final, and then dropped the second heat of the final to Kanis.

A photo finish was needed in the decider before an emotional Pendleton was awarded victory.

"I honestly didn't truly believe in my heart it was possible, so I'm overjoyed," she told BBC Sport.

"I couldn't possibly imagine not having a world championship jersey. It's been so hard this year."

Pendleton's fourth event, the keirin, in which she won world gold in 2007, takes place on Sunday's final day.

Tearful Pendleton 'overjoyed' to win

Meanwhile Cavendish, who won the 50km madison relay last year with Bradley Wiggins, had high hopes of success with his fellow Manxman Kennaugh, 19.

They were in contention for much of the race until Kennaugh crashed, swerving to avoid a Columbian rider who had fallen after clipping Cavendish.

Kennaugh got back on a new bike but GB were never in contention again, with Danes Michael Morkov and Alex Rasmussen taking gold.

"It wasn't that bad a crash - I've had a lot worse. I was just a bit dazed and it was a shame it was at the most crucial time of the race," said Kennaugh.

"We were on our way to taking a lap. We had the points, we just needed the lap."

Cavendish cooled speculation he might ride again with Kennaugh for the Isle of Man at next year's Commonwealth Games.

"With my professional commitments it's going to be hard to ride but we've got a six-man GB endurance team and three are from the Isle of Man, which is good," he said.

"We had a bit of bad luck. We had the race under control but the crash happened and you can't control that.

"I'm straight back on the road. This was just a rest week for me before I finish my classics campaign."

606: DEBATE

In the sprint, Kenny and Matt Crampton both fell to members of the French trio that pushed the GB team into silver on Wednesday. Kenny lost to Gregory Bauge and Crampton to Kevin Sireau.

After losing to Kenny in the second round, Ross Edgar came through the repechage by beating German stars Maximilian Levy and Stefan Nimke.

But he then lost a thrilling three-race series to Azizulhasni Awang of Malaysia.

In a consolation race-off, Kenny pipped Crampton for fifth place, while Edgar finished eighth overall.

In Saturday's other event with a medal on offer, GB's Anna Blyth was 10th in the women's omnium - a pentathlon on wheels - despite strong showings in the 200m sprint and 500m time trial.

Australia's Josephine Tomic took gold from Tara Whitten of Canada.



see also
World track cycling photos
28 Mar 09 |  Cycling
Armitstead wins silver after fall
27 Mar 09 |  Cycling
GB women win world pursuit gold
26 Mar 09 |  Cycling
World track cycling photos - day two
26 Mar 09 |  Cycling
Two silvers for GB on opening day
25 Mar 09 |  Cycling
World track cycling photos - day one
25 Mar 09 |  Cycling
World track cycling guide
24 Mar 09 |  Cycling
Chris Hoy's track bike guide
02 Oct 08 |  Get Involved
Cycling on the BBC
04 Nov 08 |  Cycling


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