Laura Trott proves worthy of Victoria Pendleton's crown for Team GB

 

Even as Vicky Pendleton's reign as Britain's - and the world's  - top track racer entered its very last phase, Laura Trott, 11 years her junior, both doubled her London gold medal total in the women's Omnium today and, in the process laid claim to Pendleton's soon-to-be vacant throne.

Initially targetting Rio 2016,  Trott has outpaced her planned schedule by a mere four years first to form part of the triumphant women's team pursuit squad on Friday and then to shine equally brilliantly on an individual level four days later.

If a triumph at such a young age is relatively rare in cycling, Trott has always been a precocious sort of talent. Whilst a keen trampolinist at school, Trott began concentrating on cycling in her late teens and picked up a European Championship track title in 2010 before becoming the youngest Commonwealth Games participant later than year -  where she raced alongside her sister Emma, a professinoal bike racer.

Today, though, the glory was all hers. In a thrilling ding-dong battle against American Sarah Hammer, the Briton finished in first place in the final two lap individual time trial, thereby claiming Team GB's sixth track gold out of eight completed events, ahead of Hammer with Australia's Annette Edmondson in bronze.

Whilst GB team-mate and male team pursuiter Ed Clancy described his bronze medal in the men's Omnium on Sunday as a bonus that came despite specific preparation for the previous event, Trott's triumph  in this new multidisciplined race was a far steadier, more planned affair.

Crowned Omnium World Champion in Melbourne in 2012, the 20-year-old was leading after three of the six rounds, winning the opening flying lap event and then taking the elimination - her strongest suit - on Monday night with her usual mixture of cannily timed accelerations and always, somehow, managing to be in the exactly right place at the right time.

However, the Individual Pursuit, event number four, represented both a step forward - in that she moved up a spot compared with her performance in Melbourne, to second - and a step back, in that her strongest rival, Hammer, finished first and claimed the overall lead, albeit by just one point.

With a medal now all but guaranteed but Hammer, the bronze medallist in the Worlds' Omnium, clearly her top threat, the scratch race - event number five, decided by the first rider across the line - became crucial.

First Trott put Hammer under pressure with several digs whilst the American, inexplicably, sat at the back, it was then Hammer's turn to surge forward. After Trott neutralised that move, and the race edged towards a bunch sprint decider, a final long surge then netted Hammer a second place just in front of Trott, and doubled her advantage on the Briton.

And so it came down to the final event, with journalists frantically calculating the two top contenders overall time totals - which would have decided the event in the case of a draw on places. As winner of the 500 metre time trial event in Melbourne, Trott was the favourite, but Hammer's shadowing of the young Briton so closely dramatically increased the tension.

However, Trott's  formidable time trialling capacitiies, honed to a maximum in her team pursuiting, served her perfectly.

After each half-laps, whilst Hammer faded to fourth and a silver medal ahead of Australia's Annette Edmondson and GB women's pursuit team coach (and former team pursuit gold medallist) Paul Manning shouted himself hoarse from the line -  Trott continued to forge onwards towards gold, and the first track medal for GB on this last night of velodrome racing. Not to mention a confirmation that if Pendleton is shortly no longer to be present with us, Trott seems more than ready to fill her place.

Suggested Topics
Voices
Barn owls are among species that could be affected
charity appeal
News
Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
Arts and Entertainment
The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
Sport
After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
cricketEoin Morgan reportedly to take over ODI captaincy
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas