Victoria Pendleton, MBE may not have equalled her multiple world championship performances of the past two years, but the Bedfordshire native showed who was boss in the sprint in 2009.
It was a tough post-Olympic year for many of the British riders, who had to balance a demanding public schedule on top of their training. Pendleton carried her Olympicgold medal-winning form through the '08 World Cup opener in Manchester, but then took an extended break from competition emerging only to take the sprint in the final World Cup in Copenhagen in February 2009.
The lack of competition showed in the close-fought World Championship sprint final with Dutchwoman Willy Kanis, with several rounds going to photo finishes. Her victory was achieved through her pure force of will and determination and support of her British national team.
After her win in the sprint in the World Championships, and a close second behind the Australians in the team sprint, Pendleton refocused her energy on the 2009-2010 season and came home with gold in the sprint and silver in the 500m time trial in Manchester last fall.
Pendleton's prowess in competition and her popularity at home and abroad has not waned in the years since she took her first world title in 2005, and that is reflected in her second win in the Cyclingnews Reader Poll in this category.
The Briton earned a solid 673 points more than the affable Australian Anna Meares, who continued her comeback from a 2008 injury to claim five World Cup golds since the Olympic Games and a set of rainbow bands for the world record setting women's team sprint with Kaarle McCulloch.
A distant third was New Zealander Alison Shanks who wowed the world with her crushing victory over Briton Wendy Houvenaghel in the individual pursuit in Pruszkow last March.
2009 Best Female Track Rider
1. Victoria Pendleton: 4703
2. Anna Meares:4030
3. Alison Shanks: 1551
4. Lizzie Armitstead: 1191
5. Wendy Houvenaghel: 740
6. Shelley Olds: 555
7. Giorgia Bronzini: 446
8. Simona Krupeckaite: 396
9. Joanna Rowsell: 265
10. Yumari Gonzalez Valdivieso: 193
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