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Sir Chris Hoy earns 10th world title with keirin win

Sir Chris Hoy

Hoy claims 10th world title

Track Cycling World Championships 2010
Venue: Ballerup Super Arena, Ballerup, Denmark
Dates: 24-28 March
Coverage: Live on BBC Two, red button and BBC Sport website

By Chris Bevan
BBC Sport in Copenhagen

Sir Chris Hoy powered to victory in the keirin event to secure his 10th world title and earn GB's first gold medal at the Track Cycling World Championships.

Hoy, 34, had recovered from a crash in his first heat to storm into the final.

And the reigning Olympic champion held off Azizulhasni Awang of Malaysia to triumph on the line as the Scot picked up his second medal in Copenhagen.

But Britain lost their women's team pursuit title, having to settle for silver behind dominant Australia.

Lizzie Armitstead, Wendy Houvenaghel and Joanna Rowsell finished runners-up to Ashlee Ankudinoff, Sarah Kent and Josephine Tomic as the Australians continued to add to their medal haul.

There was also disappointment for Victoria Pendleton and Jess Varnish, who finished fourth in the women's team sprint.

Hoy crashes at the start of his heat in the men's keirin
Hoy recovered from a crash in the heats to claim gold in the final

So it was down to Hoy to finally put a smile back on the face of the dozens of British fans at the Ballerup Super Arena as he beat Awang to the line, with Maximillian Levy of Germany taking bronze.

"I was aware of the magnitude of a 10th world title in the week building up to the championships because it's been in the press and people have been asking me about it," said Hoy, who had to settle for bronze in the team sprint on Wednesday after a broken pedal prior to qualifying hit their hopes.

"But it was only when someone asked me 'what does it feel like to have 10' when I'd finished that it registered because I was so focused on the race itself.

"That's the key really, to be focused on the process and not worrying about the outcome. But thinking about it now, it's fantastic and I think it makes it even more special to be back here again where I won my first world title in 2002.

"I would never have predicted then that I would be coming back here in eight years time, let alone to win a 10th title. I'm delighted and it's been a fantastic year for me so far."

It was not a trademark finish by the Scot, who usually goes early for the line but did not take the lead until a lap-and-a-half from the finish.

Hoy, who is competing at his first major global event since his Olympic triple success, had to face some rough treatment from his rivals in his heat.

After one false start, Hoy was blocked by Malaysia's Josiah Ng Onn Lam before falling and taking out Holland's Roy van den Berg.

The race was stopped and Hoy had to have the cleat on his right shoe repaired.

After a delay to allow Hoy and Van den Berg to remount their bikes, Ng was disqualified after being deemed to have taken too direct a line off the track banking, causing the collision.

British team members Joanna Rowsell, Lizzie Armitstead and Wendy Houvenaghel compete during the women's team pursuit
Britain's women's team pursuit squad finished second behind Australia

"The keirin is a physical race so you expect a few elbows," said Hoy. "I certainly didn't enjoy being bumped on my backside at the start of my first race - that was a bit out of order!

"It made me angry but I had to keep my emotions in check because I didn't want the red mist to descend because I didn't want to lose the plot. I had to stay controlled and focused."

Hoy missed last year's world championships through an injury sustained in a crash while competing in a keirin on the Ballerup track.

"Thankfully I wasn't hurt this time - I just refocused, got back on the bike and tried to stick to the gameplan," said the Scot, who clinched his third world keirin title to go with his wins in 2007 and 2008.

There was no British rider in the men's individual pursuit, an event in which Bradley Wiggins is a three-time world champion and double Olympic gold medallist.

Wiggins is currently concentrating on road racing but in any case the event is no longer seen as a priority by British Cycling as it has been dropped from the Olympic programme.

CHRIS BEVAN'S BLOG

British Cycling's performance director Dave Brailsford told BBC Sport: "The team pursuit on Friday is our priority and we did not want to sacrifice one of our riders in that and fatigue them - there is no point.

"Our mission is to win Olympic medal for this country and it isn't an Olympic medal anymore. They might as well be out there playing tiddlywinks to be honest."

Britain's Chris Newton, who just missed out on bronze in the points race on the first day of competition at the Ballerup Super Arena, was again denied a medal when he finished fifth in the scratch race.

Matt Crampton, a bronze medallist in the keirin at the 2008 World Championships, was last in his second-round heat and eventually finished seventh overall.

Sir Chris Hoy

Hoy crashes in keirin qualifying



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see also
Britain miss out on World golds
24 Mar 10 |  Cycling
'Drive and focus' spurs on Newton
24 Mar 10 |  Cycling
Hoy back to head GB bid at Worlds
23 Mar 10 |  Cycling
Veteran Queally earns GB call-up
12 Mar 10 |  Cycling
Hoy prioritises gold over record
22 Dec 09 |  Cycling
Cycling shake-up hits British duo
10 Dec 09 |  Cycling
GB stars race to three more golds
01 Nov 09 |  Cycling
GB women win world pursuit gold
26 Mar 09 |  Cycling
Hoy to miss World Championships
03 Mar 09 |  Cycling
Crash ends keirin hopes for Hoy
14 Feb 09 |  Cycling
Get into cycling in the UK
23 Mar 10 |  Get Involved


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