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Cycling | International Cycling

Victoria Pendleton © Gallo Images

Pendleton dumps Meares in sprint



Victoria Pendleton saw off arch-rival Anna Meares in a tense semifinal duel before sealing her sixth sprint title on Friday as Britain continued to overshadow their Australian hosts at the cycling world championships.

Olympic champion Pendleton then defeated Simona Krupeckaite 2-0 in the best-of-three final after the Lithuanian was relegated for coming off her line in the second-round sprint at Hisense Arena to clinch Britain's fourth title.

However, the disappointed home nation were buoyed by an unexpected win for Glenn O'Shea in the omnium.

O'Shea, who won a silver in the men's team pursuit on the opening day, was level on 20 points with Canadian Zach Bell going into the last leg of the six-round event, and his runner-up finish in the kilometre time trial was enough to secure the title.

Pendleton, 31, burst into tears and hugged her coaches in the British camp after her gold medal was announced over the loudspeaker.

The manner of her win was an anti-climax compared to the high drama that preceded it, as she and Australian Meares locked horns in a thrilling tussle in which both riders attacked aggressively and were punished for it.

'EMOTIONAL TITLE'

"This is probably the most significant and probably one of the most emotional world titles being the last time I'm going to do this so obviously it means a lot to me," Pendleton, who plans to retire after the London Olympics, told reporters.

"I'm delighted to win but it's nice to win by crossing the line first. Relegations always make you feel kind of a bit weird and iffy, so it's a shame in some respects and not great for the crowd either but, you know, they're the rules."

"I was just thinking 'come on Vic, put your legs up, you've got to get ready for a third'."

Pendleton overcame a bruising crash in the first round of her semifinal as she edged 2011 world champion Meares in a thrilling flight to the line to win the decider after her rival's second-round victory was disallowed.

Meares defeated Pendleton in the semifinal to win last year's title at Apeldoorn, and appeared to have the re-match wrapped up convincingly.

Pendleton had been left a tangle of bike and limbs on the velodrome after the first race, having made contact with Meares during a bid to catch her in the final straight.

Meares stormed to an easy victory in the second round, sparking raucous cheers from the packed terraces, but the fans' delight was cut short minutes later when she was relegated, also for moving illegally into her opponent's line.

'PSYCHOLOGICAL BLOW

After a cagey start to the decider, with both riders carrying a warning, Pendleton mounted a stunning attack from before midway through the last lap to reel in Meares by a tyre length and land a psychological blow before the London Games.

The 28-year-old Meares recovered to thrash Ukraine's Lyubov Shulika 2-0 for the bronze but was devastated by her semifinal defeat.

"I really did think that I won it," she told reporters, dabbing at her eyes with a tissue.

"It was very disappointing to feel as though I had progressed through to the final and then to lose so agonisingly close in the third round.

"Mentally and emotionally I wavered a bit tonight and paid for it unfortunately."

Omnium
Scratch (fifth of six events)
1. Lasse Norman Hansen (DEN),
2. Zach Bell (CAN),
3. Shane Archbold (NZL),
4. Glenn O'Shea (AUS),
5. Eloy Teruel (ESP),
6. Walter Perez (ARG) one lap behind,
7. Ed Clancy (GBR) olb,
8. Liu Hao (CHN) olb,
9. Martyn Irvine (IRL) olb,
10. Cho Ho Sung (KOR) olb
13. Bryan Coquard (FRA) olb
DNF: Wu Po Hung (TPE)
Standings (ahead of final, 1km time trial)
1. Zach Bell (CAN) 20pts,
2. Glenn O'Shea (AUS) 20,
3. Lasse Norman Hansen (DEN) 26,
4. Ed Clancy (GBR) 28,
5. Shane Archbold (NZL) 34...
Selected: 9. Bryan Coquard (FRA) 56

Women
Sprint
Semifinals
Victoria Pendleton (GBR) 11.337 and 11.526 bt Anna Meares (AUS) 11.278
Simona Krupeckaite (LTU) 11.674 and 11.911 bt Lyubov Shulika (UKR)

Scratch race (10km/40 laps)
Final
1. Katarzyna Pawlowska (POL),
2. Melissa Hoskins (AUS),
3. Kelly Druyts (BEL),
4. Danielle King (GBR),
5. Cari Higgins (USA),
6. Sofia Navarro (MEX),
7. Helena Casas (ESP),
8. Jarmila Machacova (CZE),
9. Maki Tabata (JPN),
10. Elena Cecchini (ITA)
Selected: 11. Diao Xiao Juan (HKG), 14. Gemma Dudley (NZL)



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