Cycling: Pendleton recovers from sprint failure to win second gold medal

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The Independent Online

Victoria Pendleton put a poor sprint showing behind her with an impressive victory in the women's keirin at track cycling's European Championships yesterday.

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. Crampton had only narrowly reached the final ahead of team-mate Jason Kenny.

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," said Brailsford following the sprint competition, which proved a wash-out for both the British men and women.

Pendleton proved his latter assertion correct yesterday 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 yesterday, 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.

Earlier, Jess Varnish came through the first-round repechage of the women's keirin before being eliminated in the second round, finishing 11th. Ed Clancy and Laura Trott are both well-placed for medals in the omnium, decided late last night.

Nine GB riders will be sent to the Kazakhstan stage of the World Cup in November, led by Hoy, who will spearhead a men's sprint squad looking to recover from a shaky weekend in Apeldoorn.

Clancy and Dani King will be the sole endurance riders in Kazakhstan, competing in the omnium. Becky James and Varnish will ride in the women's sprint events, while Pendleton will miss out to focus on training.