Victoria Pendleton: 'My New Year's resolution: to give me more time for myself'


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The Independent Online

It's a golden age for cycling After our successes at the Beijing Olympics and in the Tour de France, I've definitely seen a lot more people out and about on bikes when I go riding at the weekends. Although no one really recognises me without my helmet!

I get very nervous before races I just portray an image of calm. You kind of have to keep it in perspective, that it's just another bike race. It's a different track, but it's the same group of girls and I've beaten everybody in the field before.

I'm on target with my training for the Olympics I do about 24 hours a week – a couple of hours in the gym and three hours on the track a day. It's been difficult over the past couple of years with injuries. It's just wear and tear, but it is harder when you have to compromise.

I don't really know much about the bike's technology They keep it quite secret, so that if we're not selected or are disgruntled, we wouldn't be able to take the information to another country.

It's shameful Sarah Stevenson wasn't nominated for the BBC sports personality of the year She's achieved tremendous things in adversity – training for and winning the taekwondo world championship when both her parents had fatal illnesses. I couldn't have done what she has.

My New Year's resolution is to give me more time for myself – which I probably won't do until 2013. I'm rubbish at it. I find it very hard to take time out. I love sewing – I used to make dresses – and painting: I'm really into Aboriginal art at the moment. I want to take more time to explore that. I'm retiring after the Games and I want to do something creative. [The designer] Paul Smith said I can do work experience with him. He's a very keen cyclist and has always been very supportive, so I thought it was worth being cheeky and asking...

I don't know how many calories I burn a day – probably about 3,000. I'm lucky that eating is part of my job, but if I have a treat, it has to be healthy. The secret to not snacking is to have a good breakfast; it keeps you fuller for longer.

Victoria Pendleton, 31, is an Olympic gold-medal-winning and world champion track cyclist. She is also an ambassador of the Hovis Wholemeal Gold Start Challenge, encouraging women to exercise and eat healthily (