London 2012: Pendelton disqualified from team sprint

VICTORIA Pendelton’s dream of kicking off her London Olympics with a medal ended in heartbreaking fashion in the Velodrome on Thursday afternoon when an illegal change over saw Team GB disqualified from the final.

Mildenhall Cycling Club gold member Pendleton and team-mate Jess Varnish had set a world-record time as they saw off rivals Australia in the first qualifying heat, immediately beaten by China.

But after flying past Ukraine in the semi-final heat, seemingly booking their place in the final, loud boos rang out around the arena as it was announced they had been disqualified for Pendleton going past Varnish too early at the start of the second lap.

Germany then went on to win the gold medal, with China in silver and Australia taking the bronze.

Speaking to the BBC after the disqualification was announced, Pendleton said: “We were probably just a bit too eager.

“It’s one of those things. It was very unfortunate, it was a mistake made in a fraction of a second.”

The women’s team sprint was Varnish’s only event, but Pendleton is in action again in the women’s keirin at 4pm today (Friday), going in heat two, before the world champion attempts to defend her title in the women’s sprint against fierce rival Anna Meares from Australia on Sunday from 4pm.