Pendleton strikes gold with a little help from her friends

PUBLISHED: 14:40 22 August 2008 | UPDATED: 22:27 26 October 2009

TEAM GB s cycling golden girl Victoria Pendleton has laid the credit for her success firmly at the door of her support team. Pendleton took the gold medal in the women s sprint on Tuesday evening to record Great Britain s seventh gold in the sport at the

TEAM GB's cycling golden girl Victoria Pendleton has laid the credit for her success firmly at the door of her support team.

Pendleton took the gold medal in the women's sprint on Tuesday evening to record Great Britain's seventh gold in the sport at the Beijing Games - which soon afterwards became eight when Chris Hoy triumphed in the men's sprint.

Having missed out on the medals at her only previous Olympic Games, in Athens four years ago, the four-time world sprint champion was determined not to suffer the same fate this time around.

And with a little help from her friends, she was able to prove her pre-eminence.

"I can honestly say that I don't think I'd be here if it wasn't for (sports psychologist) Steve Peters and the work he has done with me," said the 27-year-old from Stotfold.

"I'm really lucky to have a team around me. Mark Simpson, my strength and conditioning coach, knows me better than I know me, so credit to him too."

The pin-up girl of British cycling added: "I've wanted this so badly, it's been a big focus for me.

"I've beaten everyone there is in this field. I had to come here with a lot of pressure on me, because people expected me to win the medal - I'm the 'golden girl' here in track.

"I didn't even think about the outcome, I just focused on the process.

"It's gone so well over the last few weeks, it's been a dream come true. It's been awesome."

Following in the tyre tracks of six gold, three silver and two bronze medallists from the British cycling team, Pendleton admitted she had been desperate for a piece of the action.

"I've been watching all week on the TV back in the Olympic Village," she said.

"And it's been really emotional for me. I'm so proud of them all, I had tears before the keirin heats even started.

"I so wanted to do it too, to get my chance. I just wanted to be part of it."

Cycle star Pendleton earlier in her career rode at the Gosling track in WGC.

Although she never competed in the weekly Welwyn Track League, she did ride in open events, including the Women's Cycle Racing Association Championships.

Her father, Max Pendleton, rode in the Welwyn Track League and in the BC Masters Championship when it was held at Welwyn in 2006.

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