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Sir Chris Hoy prioritises gold over Olympic record

Olympic champion Chris Hoy
Hoy won the team and individual sprint golds in Beijing

Cycling champion Sir Chris Hoy says he will not risk his gold medal chances by chasing three Olympic titles at the 2012 Games in London.

The three-time Beijing champion is one gold short of rower Sir Steve Redgrave's career record of five.

But the Scot, who will be 36 in 2012, said: "I wouldn't risk losing a gold medal for the sake of having three bronzes or three silvers.

"It's about winning gold medals and I'd rather have one than three silvers."

Hoy became Britain's second most successful Olympian when he powered to three track cycling titles at the Laoshan Velodrome last year.

But despite his overwhelming success, Hoy admitted he took a risk entering four events in the space of five days in Beijing and could easily have returned empty handed.

It's frustrating for a lot of riders but I think it's been done for a positive reason and that's to get parity between men and women

Sir Chris Hoy

However, the multiple world champion believes with the right amount of preparation for the London Games he can add to his impressive haul of honours.

"It's still quite a long time to the Olympics and anything can happen," he said.

Changes to the track programme in 2012 mean compatriot Victoria Pendleton has a shot at attempting to emulate Hoy's triple success.

The 29-year-old has benefitted most from the decision to split the 10 track cycling events between men and women down the middle, allowing her to compete for gold in the team and individual sprint as well as the keirin.

And Hoy warned the challenge ahead for Pendleton is more mental than physical.

"We're quite different athletes in terms of our mental approach to racing," he said.

"The biggest challenge about having multiple events isn't necessarily the physical endurance you need racing day after day.

"It's actually the mental aspects of competition - taking each race as it comes."


But Pendleton's gain has come at a price for Rebecca Romero, Wendy Houvenaghel and Bradley Wiggins, who all lost their specialist track races in the schedule reshuffle.

While Hoy empathised with his team-mates, he believes the changes will benefit cycling over time.

"When my event, the kilo, was dropped from the programme in Beijing it was devastating," he added.

"More than anything, it's the timing of it, you don't get a full Olympic cycle to change your plans and prepare.

"It's halfway through, you've already spent a lot of wasted time preparing for something that's not going to happen.

"It's frustrating for a lot of riders but I think it's been done for a positive reason and that's to get parity between men and women."

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GB cyclists shocked by 2012 plan
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James wins double gold in Moscow
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Romero beats GB team-mate to gold
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