Last Dance: “Queen Vic” Pendleton Heads Into Retirement With Second Place Cycling Sprint Finish, Shaung Guo Takes Third


“Queen Vic” Pendleton was riding high going into the Women’s Sprint Final.

On the heels of a dazzling performance in the in the Keirin Final – where she became just the sixth British woman in history to win two Summer Games titles – the eyes of her country were centered on her to claim victory in her final race as a professional track cyclist.

It wasn’t meant to be.

The British star, dropping in race one of the three-leg final, edged Anna Meares by a razor close 0.001 seconds. But a heavy disqualification ruling took her out of it for riding outside the sprinting lane.

The recently anointed cycling “monarch” was then forced to dominate the final two leg. She fell just short of the feat, conceding defeat for a solid second place finish – trailed by China’s Shaung Guo, who took second in the Keirin race with a 2-0 win over Kristina Vogel of Germany.

But despite not coming out on top in the contest, well known to be her very last before retirement from the sport, Queen Vic was still grateful for what she had accomplished.

“I’m just so relieved right now and overwhelmed with emotion,” Victoria said. “I would have loved to have won on my final race but I’m just so glad that it is all done and I can move on. I’m glad it got to that stage, I think she is the best rider in the field and it is the way it should have been with myself and Anna in the final. She is a fantastic competitor and I wish her all the best, but I’m very glad to be saying that is the last time I am going to go through that.”

With that, Queen Vic closed out a storied career that saw her amass 19 overall medals – with two Titles and one second-place finish at the Summer Games.

For the heralded Brit, it became surreal.

“This is it, I can’t believe it is all over.”


Andrew De Lara


August 10, 2012