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Page last updated at 21:57 GMT, Saturday, 19 February 2011

Sir Chris Hoy powers to keirin World Cup gold

Track World Cup, Manchester
Venue: Manchester Velodrome Dates: 18-20 February
Coverage: Watch live all three days on BBC red button and online (UK only) and BBC Two on Sunday; full coverage details here

Sir Chirs Hoy

Hoy sprints to Keirin gold

By Marc Vesty

World and Olympic champion Sir Chris Hoy produced a dominant performance as he raced to gold in the keirin at the World Cup in Manchester.

The 34-year-old outclassed the field, hanging back before bursting through as a huge crash occurred behind him.

Meanwhile, Victoria Pendleton was forced to settle for sprint bronze.

The 30-year-old was defeated 2-0 by Australia's Anna Meares in the semi-final but eventually eased to bronze beating Olga Panarina of Belarus 2-0.

Britain's two Olympic champions had endured frustrating days on Friday as Hoy took bronze in the sprint, while Pendleton missed the qualification time for the final of the team sprint alongside team-mate Shanaze Reade.

But riding in their strongest events on Saturday, both came out wearing their world champion's rainbow jerseys which they had won in Copenhagen last year and hope to defend at the World Championships in Apeldoorn, Netherlands in March.

It was Hoy who gave the home crowd something to cheer as he showed his trademark acceleration, easing through to the final - while also beating France's Gregory Bauge, the two-time reigning world sprint champion, into fifth in the semi-final.

Victoria Pendleton
I felt like I was missing something and I didn't feel like I had that killer instinct inside

Victoria Pendleton

In the final, which required a second start after the motorised Derny bike experienced mechanical problems at the first attempt, Hoy raced from the back before moving around the outside in the final lap. As he did so, he avoided a huge pile-up, which left all remaining riders sprawled on the track.

As Hoy crossed the line to take gold, the race behind him ended in farce as bloodied and bruised Australian Jason Niblett climbed off the track to limp his bike across the line and take silver, followed by Malaysian Azizulhasni Awang, who had a splinter go though his calf muscle in the pile up.

Hoy, who will ride in the team sprint with Jason Kenny and Matt Crampton on Sunday, said: "I had no idea what was happening behind me, I just launched my sprint with about a lap and a half to go, had to go quite wide to get round the guys and put my head down to the line.

"It was only on my victory lap when the officials were saying stay up the track I saw the guys lying on the floor.

"I've seen the crash on the video screen and it looked pretty nasty, hopefully the boys will be fine for the worlds in a month's time."

Hoy admitted the result was most welcome after disappointment in the sprint on the opening day, where he was beaten by team-mate Kenny - who took silver in the event won by France's Kevin Sireau.

"I'm particularly pleased after yesterday - it was a hard day's racing and it takes a lot out of you physically and mentally," said Hoy.

"Today I really enjoyed it. Every race was quick. I did a really good performance in the first round, that gave me confidence.

"The semi-final I put away Gregory Bauge which was important for my confidence.

"And then the final I had loads of confidence, hit it hard and won it by a clear margin."

For World and Olympic champion Pendleton, it was another frustrating afternoon as she saw Meares show her class ahead of the World Championships.

Pendleton had defeated fellow Briton Becky James in the quarter-final, setting up her duel with Meares but in the first bout, Pendleton led out the final lap before Meares came through on the inside to take a 1-0 lead.

Meares, who won the team sprint with Kaarle McCulloch on Friday, took the initiative in the second race and powered away from Pendleton to proceed to the final, where she beat China's Guo Shuang 2-1 to take gold.

Afterwards, Pendleton, who took bronze after comfortably beating Panarina, said she did not feel on top form.

"I felt like I was missing something and I didn't feel like I had that killer instinct inside," said Pendleton.

"I don't know what it was, it was just one of those days but there you go. I'm hoping there's a bit more to find at the World Championships."

After a gruelling day's racing on Friday, the men's omnium concluded on Saturday where Britain's Ben Swift finished sixth overall after finishing sixth in the scratch race and ninth in the one-kilometre time-trial. New Zealand's Shane Archbald took the gold medal.

In the women's omnium, Lizzie Armitstead was ninth in the points race and 10th in the elimination race to sit eighth overall with three events remaining.

Armitstead had looked to be going well in the elimination until she appeared to be caught by surprise to be knocked out.

"I just let myself down at the end, it's a bit annoying. It's gone ok, consistently average," said Armitstead.

"The fitness is there but I was hitting a brick wall with my leg speed. It's not fun racing when you're not at you best. Hopefully my fitness will shine through tomorrow."

Laura Trott, who could rival Armitstead for the World Championships and London 2012 omnium spot, raced in the non-Olympic scratch race and placed 15th as Russia's Anastasiya Chulkova won gold.

Malaysian rider Azizulhasni Awang

Rider suffers unusual injury in keirin crash



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see also
GB women take team pursuit gold
18 Feb 11 |  Cycling
GB trio triumph in team pursuit
18 Feb 11 |  Cycling
Kenny claims sprint silver
18 Feb 11 |  Cycling
Hoy misses out on sprint final
18 Feb 11 |  Cycling
Thomas takes pursuit silver
18 Feb 11 |  Cycling
Hoy hails GB cycling team spirit
17 Feb 11 |  Cycling
Wiggins returns in strong GB team
29 Jan 11 |  Cycling


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