Amidst the euphoria of the men’s team sprint world-record setting gold medal race, heartbreak for Victoria Pendleton and Jess Varnish in the velodrome where a technical error at the changeover put paid to the pair’s medal hopes – medal hopes that had looked well on course when they set a short-lived world record in the first qualifying heat.
Pendleton still has the individual sprint and the women’s Keirin before the end of the weekend and her medal prospect surely look good in at least one of those disciplines, but the contrast between the elation of Hoy et al and the devastation of the two female riders was painful to see.
Rules, though, are there for a reason and, at 21, Varnish has at least another two or three Olympics to hang the gold around her neck. Pendleton will surely feature on the medals table come the close of the Games. A little adversity in one of our nation’s specialist events may be no bad thing, but to hear the disappointment in each rider’s voice after the race, you sense it will take a special effort to come back in the next few days.
Image taken from http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/olympics/cycling (thanks!)