Wiggins 'lottery' win seals hat-trick

Londoner partners Cavendish to further triumph as Pendleton and Hoy extend Britain's pot of gold to nine

It will surely never get better than this. Britain's extraordinary success story at the World Track Championships here took on another dimension yesterday as three more gold medals took the team's tally for the week to nine out of the 14 awarded so far.

Matching last year's seven World Championship golds had seemed a tall order, but Dave Brailsford's superb squad just get better and better. It is hard to imagine there has ever been a more dominant performance by a British team at a world championships in any sport, and their combined brilliance offers the prospect of even greater glory in this summer's Olympic Games.

Yesterday's heroes were Bradley Wiggins – claiming his third gold of the week – and Mark Cavendish, who combined to win the madison, Victoria Pendleton, who claimed her second in the sprint, and Chris Hoy, who won his second in the keirin.

The highest drama came in the madison, one of track cycling's most spectacular events. It is contested over 50 kilometres by teams of two men, but with only one rider in the race at any time. Points are awarded for sprints and, crucially, for lapping the field. The Britons had earned plenty in the early sprints but two attempts to gain a lap had failed before Wiggins launched a decisive attack with some 35 laps to go. The pack tried desperately to hold the Britons off, but with the capacity crowd roaring them on they caught them with 20 laps to go. The Germans made a late challenge, but Wiggins and Cavendish held on in the final sprint.

Wiggins, who had already won golds in the individual and team pursuit, was asked how it feltto win a third. "The first twoare easier to predict, but the madison is such a lottery," he said. "Crashes and a lot else can happen. It's a huge relief to get it done and come away with gold, though this will make it even harder for us at the Olympics."

Pendleton, 27, had been hugelyimpressive on her way to the gold-medal race, winning her semi-final against Jennie Reed in emphatic style. Simona Krupeckaite offered a stiffer challenge in the best-of-three final, but Pendleton won the first race from the front, holding off the Lithuanian's challenge around the final bend, and showed impeccable timing in coming from behind to win the second.

Having won three world titles last year and already successfullydefended the team sprint here, Pendleton said this was the most enjoyable of her six world golds. "I had a lot of pressure to back up what I did last year," she said. "This showed that it wasn't a one-off. It confirmed I have the legs to be the best in the world."

When the Olympic authorities dispensed with Hoy's speciality, the one-kilometre time trial, the Athens gold medallist thought the team sprint would offer his best chance of success in Beijing this summer. He also took up the keirin and individual sprint, but mainly with a view to sharpening up his speed. Hoy's subsequent performances, however, have made him one of the favourites for all three Olympic crowns. The Scot won silver in the team sprint on the opening day here and on Friday claimed his first major individual sprint title when he became the first British winner of the blue riband of track cycling for 54 years.

The keirin, in which riders jostle for position behind a pace-setting motorbike for five-and-a-half of the eight laps, requires pure speed as well as tactical awareness. Hoy took no risks in the first two rounds of the gold- medal race, winning all three from the front.

Contesting the last final of the day, Hoy said he felt the team's earlier successes had lessened the burden on him. "When a team's performing there's less pressure on you," he said. "If the team haven't won a single gold medal then that's when you might feel a weight on your shoulders."

In today's final session Pendleton will have the chance to provide a golden climax in the women's keirin. It would be a fitting end to a glorious week.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Suited and booted in the Lanvin show at the Paris menswear collections
fashionParis Fashion Week
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Kara Tointon and Jeremy Piven star in Mr Selfridge
tvActress Kara Tointon on what to expect from Series 3
Voices
Winston Churchill, then prime minister, outside No 10 in June 1943
voicesA C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
News
i100
News
An asteroid is set to pass so close to Earth it will be visible with binoculars
news
News
Caption competition
Caption competition
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

Austen Lloyd: Private Client Solicitor - Oxford

Excellent Salary : Austen Lloyd: OXFORD - REGIONAL FIRM - An excellent opportu...

Austen Lloyd: Clinical Negligence Associate / Partner - Bristol

Super Package: Austen Lloyd: BRISTOL - SENIOR CLINICAL NEGLIGENCE - An outstan...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Consultant - Solar Energy - OTE £50,000

£15000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Fantastic opportunities are ava...

Recruitment Genius: Compute Engineer

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Compute Engineer is required to join a globa...

Day In a Page

Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project