- Full name Victoria Pendleton
- Birth date September 24, 1980
- Birth place Stotfold
- Current age 33 years 78 days
- Height 5 ft 5 in
"You're too skinny, too puny to be a sprint cyclist". Victoria Pendleton obviously didn't heed the words of her French-Canadian coach, considering she's gone on to win nine World Championship golds and two Olympic golds.
Pendleton took to the saddle aged nine, entering her first race, a 400m event, on the grass track at Fordham. After showing further promise as a young teenager, Pendleton was approached by a national coach when she was 16 but turned down the chance of a career in cycling, preferring to stay in education. However, once she had attained a degree in Sport and Exercise Science from Northumbria University, she became a professional cyclist.
While still a student, Pendleton won a bronze and three silver medals at the British National Track Championships in 2001. The following year she began cycling full-time and immediately qualified for the England Commonwealth Games team, finishing fourth in the sprint. At the 2003 World Championships in Stuttgart, Pendleton again missed out on a medal by one place and she suffered the same fate at the 2004 World Championships. Success was to follow, however, as she went on to win the World Cup event in Manchester.
After two years as a professional, great things were expected of Pendleton at the 2004 Olympic Games. However, overcome with nerves, she under-performed, finishing sixth in the Women's Time Trial and ninth in the women's 200m sprint. Her breakthrough year came in 2005, when she won gold in the Women's Sprint at the World Championships, becoming only the third British woman to be crowned a cycling world champion in over 40 years.
Pendleton showed further notice of her talent at the 2006 Commonwealth Games, winning gold in the Women's Sprint. Things got even better for her in 2007, she became a triple world champion at the UCI Track World Championships, triumphing in the Team Sprint, Women's Sprint and Women's Keirin, prompting her to be named sportswoman of the year.
At the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Pendleton won gold in the Women's Individual Sprint, and in 2009 she defended her world sprint title at the UCI Track World Championships, narrowly beating Dutch rival Willy Kanis. She later reasserted her dominance over her British counterparts, dominating in the 500m Time Trial and sprint at the National Track Championships. In 2011, a year before her home Olympics, Pendleton came third in the World Track Championships.
Pendleton confirmed her swansong on the bike would be at the 2012 Olympics and she bowed out with a gold, which came in the keirin. It could have been better as she and Jess Varnish were controversially disqualified in the team sprint and she was beaten by great rival Anna Meares in the sprint final.
Bowing out of cycling on home soil with a gold medal in the keirin.
Failing to do herself justice at the 2004 Athens Olympics.
"It really is all about believing in yourself: 80 per cent mental, 20 per cent physical." Victoria Pendleton
"Well, it's not me. It's not me at all. It's hard work, really hard work, and it's incredibly draining. I hate it, I really hate it." Victoria Pendleton reveals she isn't too fond of cycling
In April 2011, Pendleton took on several players from rugby union outfit Sale Sharks in a series of fitness challenges. Overall, despite Pendleton squatting twice her body weight, the Sharks prevailed, just.
- Pendleton wants cycling equality (Sep 30, 2012)
- Pendleton: British Cycling glad I'm gone (Sep 14, 2012)
- Pendleton retires with sprint silver (Aug 7, 2012)
- Clancy wins bronze as Pendleton & Kenny flex muscles (Aug 5, 2012)
Pendleton & GB team pursuit enjoy golden night (Aug 3, 2012)