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
Life and Style
love + sex A new study has revealed the average size - but does that leave men outside the 'normal' range being thought of as 'abnormal'?
News
Bill O'Reilly attends The Hollywood Reporter 35 Most Powerful People In Media Celebration at The Four Seasons Restaurant on April 16, 2014 in New York City
media It is the second time he and the channel have clarified statements
Sport
Brendan Rodgers
football The Liverpool manager will be the first option after Pep Guardiola, writes Ian Herbert
News
people
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

Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn