Hoy strikes gold in Manchester

Sun, 20 Feb 10:02:00 2011

Chris Hoy stormed to keirin gold at the UCI World Cup in Manchester to underline his intent ahead of next month's World Championships.

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But Victoria Pendleton had to settle for bronze after she was beaten in the women's sprint semi-final by Australian arch-rival Anna Meares, who went on to claim the title.

That took Britain's World Cup medal haul to six, with Hoy adding to his bronze in the men's sprint.

The flying Scot blew away his rivals with a powerful performance in an incredible final that produced a dramatic five-man crash on the final bend.

Farcical scenes ensued with competitors scrambling to their feet to pick up their bikes before hobbling in a mad dash on foot over the line.

Australian Jason Niblett stumbled to silver with Malaysian Azizulhansi Awang claimed bronze, despite having a splinter through his leg.

"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," said Hoy.

"But I'm particularly pleased after the first day - it was a hard day's racing and it takes a lot out of you physically and mentally.

"I really enjoyed it. Every race was quick. The semi-final I put away Gregory Bauge which was important for my confidence.

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

Hoy's victory electrified the noisy Manchester crowd who, dampened by Pendleton's initial disappointment, found their voice again to cheer her to bronze, defeating Belarusian Olga Panarina 2-0.

"I didn't put too much pressure on myself to perform," admitted Pendleton, who competes in the keirin on Sunday.

"It's actually quite hard to get yourself up for an event like this - although the crowd were fantastic.

"2012 is the only thing that counts now in the rest of my calendar for the rest of my life.

"Probably one of my problems at the moment is that the Olympics feel like the only goal worth thinking about."

Elsewhere last year's junior world champion, Laura Trott, impressed in reaching the final for the women's scratch race before finishing 15th overall.

Ben Swift finished sixth in the men's omnium while GB team mate Lizzie Armitstead, competing in the women's omnium, sits in eleventh place heading into the final day.

More than the Games / Eurosport

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