Victoria Pendleton backs British Cycling’s ‘sprint girls’ to achieve huge success on tracks at Paris Olympics

Hopes are already high that Team GB will go even further and improve the medal haul in at the next Games

Bella Butler
Thursday 28 October 2021 12:32
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Victoria Pendleton is backing British Cycling’s fast girls to emulate Jason Kenny and inspire the next generation of talent at Paris 2024.

The two-time Olympic champion, who sped to sprint and keirin glory in Beijing and London, watched Sophie Capewell, Blaine Ridge-Davis, Milly Tanner and Lauren Bate bag team sprint bronze at the World Championships in France on Wednesday.

Kenny captured hearts by becoming Britain’s most decorated ever Olympian in Tokyo and Pendleton, who also scooped silver in London, believes the youthful quartet can follow in his star-studded sprint footsteps.

The 41-year-old said: “I think the new young sprint girls coming through will definitely be ones to watch in Paris. I'm really excited to see what they're going to do and what's going to happen.

“The endurance side of the sport has been very well-supported for a long time, but it's nice to see some sprinters coming through.

“It would be nice to see them become as successful as the men's team, like Jack Carlin and Jason Kenny have done in Tokyo. That's the ultimate goal. It's brilliant to see more girls taking up the sport, particularly on the sprinting side.”

Carlin, 24, captured team sprint silver and individual bronze in Tokyo while evergreen Kenny, 33, sped to a scintillating keirin crown at the Izu Velodrome.

The seven-time Olympic champion caught the rest of the field napping and hit the accelerator in thrilling style to take one step deeper into the pantheon of greatness.

Pendleton, a nine-time world champion, helped lay the foundations for British Cycling’s unforgettable era and soared to keirin glory on the London boards at the storied Games of 2012.

Team GB won seven track cycling medals at Tokyo 2020 but with a clearer Paris end goal in sight, Pendleton insists they can go even faster in the French capital.

She added: “The team did well but I think in Paris, they will be stronger and more determined, but also more resilient.

“I think most people were just pleased to be able to do what they've been training to do because training with an unknown goal is a really tough thing to do. I think that the British team did fantastically well given the circumstances, across all sports. But in a year where there's no interruptions, or postponements, they would have done even better.

“It took a lot to keep that focus on training through such uncertain times – but they will all be stronger, better, athletes as a consequence. Those kind of challenges that make you stronger.”

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