Victoria Pendleton helped Great Britain collect three of its seven gold medals at the UCI World Track Championships in Majorca, Spain this weekend, scoring wins in the women's individual sprint, team sprint and keirin.
Her third victory came in the keirin at the end of the final night's session despite two significant distractions. The keirin was stopped not once, but twice. The first time occurred when defending champion Christin Muche came down on top of Pendleton, clashing shoulders and nudging her onto the Cote d'Azur line. The race was immediately halted and after several minutes deliberation, the German was disqualified.
After the restart, the derny began malfunctioning and was unable to accelerate. The crowd started whistling while the riders had to try to maintain composure and focus while waiting for a second machine to be brought onto the track for the second restart. Pendleton came from quite far back in fourth place with one lap to go and finished ahead of Shuang Guo (People's Republic of China) and Anna Meares (Australia).
"I was a little bit concerned," admitted Pendleton about her positioning in the final. "I knew there was a lap to go. I just waited for things to close up a bit, because it got a bit wide [between riders] in places, and then I just went for it. It was a bit of a risky manoeuvre, but I didn't know what else to do."
Pendleton was confused about the initial stoppage. "In the first one, I was holding the line and the German bumped into me. I couldn't hold the track, I was fighting to stay on it, and I got a bit of a nudge and it swung me off. I wasn't sure if we had to stop because I came off the bottom of the track, or whether it was anything else. I was concerned, I was just waiting for the decision. I couldn't understand what was being said. I just hoped that I was still in the race."
But she kept her concentration, even after the dying derny forced the women to ride an impossibly slow pace leading up to the second stoppage.
"After that, I kept focused on trying to get the third gold, to do something really special. Everyone in the team now has got a medal, practically, I didn't really stand out from the crowd so I really wanted to get that. I am delighted - I entered three events and have got three goals now."
Pendleton will now prepare for a well-deserved holiday and break from racing in Japan.
Her medal was one of seven golds for Great Britain, Chris Hoy was the team's only other triple medalist, with two golds and a silver. Great Britain compiled an astonishing medal haul of seven golds, two silvers, and two bronzes.
Click here for full coverage of the World Track Championships.