Hoy wins sixth Olympic title as Team GB reach 22 golds


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The Independent Online

The knight in navy Lycra pedalled his way past all others last night, becoming Great Britain's most successful Olympian in his final Games appearance.

On yet another extraordinary day at the Velodrome, Sir Chris Hoy roared around the circuit to win his sixth gold medal, this time in the men's keirin event. It was one of four more golds for Team GB, who now have 22, three more than their haul in Beijing – and they may yet win more.

Yesterday's first golden moment came in the triathlon, where the West Yorkshire brothers Alistair and Jonny Brownlee went head-to-head. Alistair, the elder of the ferociously competitive pair, produced a steely performance to take first place. His younger brother equalled him in determination, surviving a 15-second time penalty for mounting his bicycle, to take bronze.

But the day will be remembered for Sir Chris's glorious goodbye. The Scot hopes to bow out of the sport at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, but 2016 is a bridge too far. "This is enough for me. This is the perfect end to my Olympic career," said the 36-year-old. "I can't put into words what it means to me. It's one of the greatest feelings I've ever had. I'm 99.9 per cent sure I won't be competing in Rio. How can you top this?"

He has been in stunning form since winning gold in the team sprint six days ago, but the keirin race was a little closer than the deafening crowd might have expected. Germany's Maximilian Levy passed him on the final lap, but the thighs came good around the final bend, and the crowd went wild.

For every shining knight there is a damsel in distress. Victoria Pendleton, very much the golden girl of British cycling, lost in the women's sprint final to her long-time nemesis, Anna Meares of Australia. It is likely to be the 31-year-old's last race. Earlier, Laura Trott, pictured left, raced to gold in the omnium event. The wins meant that Team GB won seven out of a possible 10 medals in the Velodrome.

At Greenwich Park, Britain's equestrian team won their first dressage gold. Carl Hester, Laura Bechtolsheimer and Charlotte Dujardin held off arch-rivals Germany and the Netherlands in front of 20,000 fans.

At Weymouth, Nick Dempsey secured a windsurfing silver, while high-jumper Robbie Grabarz shared the bronze with Mutaz Essa Barshim of Qatar and Canada's Derek Drouin.