British stars shine in National Track Championships

By Gerry McManus

The British National Track Championship showcased the best of British track cycling last week in Manchester. The British Nationals preceded the first World Cup event in Sydney, Australia, in November; however, some top performers may race again in Manchester in February for the final of four rounds of the UCI World Cup series.

Britain’s Victoria Pendleton (ScienceInSport) showed she is great form by taking home four gold medals. The 26-year-old from Hitchin, Hertfordshire, struck gold in the 500m time trial, keirin, 200m sprint, and the 15km scratch race. On the first day of racing, she also set the championship record for the 500m TT with a time of 34.621, only a fraction of a second behind the British record of 34.614 that she set at the UCI World Championships in Bordeaux earlier this year with her silver medal winning ride. For Pendleton, it's déjà vu; she won the same four medals at last year's championships.

Edinburgh’s Chris Hoy climbed on the podium top spot after he exploded around four laps of the 250m Manchester track to complete the 1km time trial in 1.02.725. Hoy also teamed with fellow internationals Jason Queally and Craig MacLean to win the team sprint event in which he hopes for an Olympic gold in Beijing in 2008. MacLean took the sprint final, but relative youngster Ross Edgar defeated all the senior riders in men's Keirin. The 23-year-old Edgar from Newmarket, Suffolk, fought off a challenge from Matthew Crampton ( the final to become the new British men's Keirin champion.

Senior road professional David Millar (Saunier Duval) made a fleeting visit to the championships and showed his style by winning the 4,000m men’s individual time trial. Millar may now make the selector's checklist when British Cycling personnel are discussing track medal prospects.

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