Great Britain's Victoria Pendleton has become only the second woman to win three Best Female Track Rider titles in Cyclingnews' reader poll, joining Dutch legend Leontien Van Moorsel for that honour.
The 2008 Olympic champion had just won on the world circuit in the 2010-2011 season, the Keirin in the Cali World Cup, but she was first in the minds of our readers, taking 20% of the vote - 4323 entries - over triple world champion Anna Meares.
Four-time individual pursuit world champion Sarah Hammer lost her quest to add a third Cyclingnews title to her palmares, taking 16.8% of the vote. Part-time track racer and scratch race world champion Marianne Vos was fourth.
The British track cyclists, who so dominated in Beijing, are facing stronger competition than ever leading into the 2012 Olympic Games in London, and for Pendleton the foe was Meares, who relegated the affable Brit to the bronze medal round in three closely fought matches in the semifinals of the individual sprint tournament at Worlds.
"The sprints are all about making the least mistakes possible. You can't have a perfect performance - it's too much to ask," Pendleton said afterward. "It was a good challenge. We've met each other a lot of the time in competition over the years. The balance has to swing sometimes or people wouldn't bother watching, would they?"
Pendleton will retire after the London Games, but until then her loyal fans can enjoy a few last performances, and we're sure Vicky has a few tricks up her sleeve to put herself back into gold medal contention before August.
2011 Best Female Track Rider
1 Victoria Pendleton 4323 (20.0%)
2 Anna Meares 4098 (18.9%)
3 Sarah Hammer 3644 (16.8%)
4 Marianne Vos 3184 (14.7%)
5 Giorgia Bronzini 1555 (7.2%)
6 Danielle King 1191 (5.5%)
7 Alison Shanks 1167 (5.4%)
8 Tara Whitten 985 (4.6%)
9 Olga Panarina 966 (4.5%)
10 Tatsiana Sharakova 521 (2.4%)
Best Female Track Rider - Past Winners
2010 - Sarah Hammer
2009 - Victoria Pendleton
2008 - Victoria Pendleton
2007 - Sarah Hammer
2006 - Anna Meares
2005 - Katherine Bates
2004 - Sarah Ulmer
2003 - Leontien Van Moorsel
2002 - Leontien Van Moorsel
2001 - Leontien Van Moorsel
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