Cycling: 'Hoydini' pulls off an unlikely win to seal Britain's sixth gold

First place for Hoy after thrilling finish caps impressive display from Brailsford's team

Melbourne

Sir Chris Hoy produced an incredible Houdini act to clinch an unlikely gold on the final day of the World Track Cycling Championships here yesterday.

By his own admission, the Scot had been off his best in Melbourne prior to the keirin but, even on an evening when Australian darling Anna Meares broke a world record, he was still the talk of the Hisense Arena.

Coming into the last bend of the final, he was in fourth and an 11th world title in what could be his last championships appeared well beyond his reach.

But as New Zealand's Simon van Velthooven pulled wide to fend off another British threat in the form of Jason Kenny, Hoy, who had ducked on to the inside line, squeezed his muscular frame through what seemed an impossible gap between the Kiwi and race leader Maximilian Levy for victory.

Hoy, who turned 35 on the flight over to Australia, admitted it was a move he had never tried before at a major championships and was in disbelief he had made it stuck.

"I've always put my foot down Forrest Gump style," he said of a manoeuvre which he described as his "get out of jail free card".

He admitted: "I'd given up on the home straight. I thought I'd messed it up. But I thought why not give it a go and the gap opened. You never say die and thankfully I didn't give up. It paid off. I couldn't believe it."

Hoy admitted his inspiration was a motto used by British Cycling performance director, Dave Brailsford – "the sign of a true champion is being able to bounce back from defeat" – after faltering in the sprint and team sprint events.

The timing of his gold could not have been better in what was his very last race before the Olympics and, after his Melbourne ride, he is now a guaranteed starter for Britain in the keirin.

After the win, he was greeted at the side of the track by his wife and his parents. With three laps left of the race, his mother Carol buried her head in her hands scarcely able to watch her son in action but afterwards celebrated by unfurling a banner with the words "Chris Hoy, the Real McCoy".

That sixth gold was not quite enough for Britain to top the medal table – Australia, with six golds but more silvers, took that accolade – but Britain tellingly boasted five golds to Australia's three in the 10 Olympic events.

The fact that Britain also won four other medals on the final night almost paled into insignificance, including Kenny's bronze in the same race, awarded after Van Velthooven was relegated.

There were silvers for Geraint Thomas and Ben Swift in the madison, and Wendy Houvenaghel, in the individual pursuit, while Jess Varnish broke her personal best for bronze in the 500m time trial.

But the night belonged to Hoy, who made it clear how he'd celebrate a fourth keirin world title in six years. "I'm going to have a holiday, gain a few pounds and have a few beers," he said.

The question, though, is whether he will ride two or three events in London. His keirin gold showed he has the stamina to do all three but even he accepted it might not be possible.

"The dream is still to win three gold medals," he said. "If I get two it's not the end of the world. I'm happy to abide by the decision of the selectors. I have faith and trust in them that they'll make the right decision whether that's in my favour or not."

News
Ben Little, right, is a Labour supporter while Jonathan Rogers supports the Green Party
general election 2015
News
The 91st Hakone Ekiden Qualifier at Showa Kinen Park, Tokyo, 2014
news
Life and Style
Former helicopter pilot Major Tim Peake will become the first UK astronaut in space for over 20 years
food + drinkNothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
News
Kim Wilde began gardening in the 1990s when she moved to the countryside
peopleThe singer is leading an appeal for the charity Thrive, which uses the therapy of horticulture
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Alexis Sanchez celebrates scoring a second for Arsenal against Reading
football
Life and Style
health
Voices
An easy-peel potato; Dave Hax has come up with an ingenious method in food preparation
voicesDave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
News
i100
News
Japan's population is projected to fall dramatically in the next 50 years (Wikimedia)
news
Life and Style
Buyers of secondhand cars are searching out shades last seen in cop show ‘The Sweeney’
motoringFlares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Project Implementation Executive

£18000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

Recruitment Genius: Chiropractic Assistant

£16500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Chiropractic Assistant is needed in a ...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Account Executive - Midlands

£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides coaching ...

Day In a Page

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own