Victoria Pendleton put a poor sprint showing behind her with an impressive victory in the women’s keirin at track cycling’s European Championships. The 31-year-old leaves the Netherlands with two gold medals, having won the team sprint with Jess Varnish on Friday before coming eighth in the sprint. Pendleton triumphed after a confident ride and, moments later, fellow Briton Matt Crampton won the men’s title.
Pendleton’s gold comes a day after British Cycling performance director Dave Brailsford insisted her failure to reach a sprint medal race was no cause for alarm: “There’s no point judging her on what’s here because it’s part of a process. Everybody has got more to come”
Pendleton proved his latter assertion correct on Sunday but will surely happily be judged on the strength of mentality she displayed to win the keirin, an event in which she could only finish seventh at the World Championships, inside the same velodrome in March.
Sir Chris Hoy flew home with a chest infection on Sunday, missing the men’s keirin, so Kenny and Crampton instead represented Britain. Crampton squeaked into the final at Kenny’s expense as the duo finished third and fourth respectively in the second round, with Kenny going on to finish seventh overall. In a far tighter finish than Pendleton’s final, 25-year-old Crampton did just enough to hang on for victory.