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Becky James wins two gold medals in 24 hours as another star

PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2013 8:39 pm
by Catherine
• James, 21, adds golds to two bronzes at world championships
• Great Britain's newest track queen is left behind by team bus

Two gold medals at the age of 21 in less than 24 hours left Becky James stiff-legged and lost for words and the cycling world in a state of shock. Six months after the London Games, the British track team have unearthed another star, one capable of racing five days on the trot and winning four medals in all her four events.

Re: Becky James wins two gold medals in 24 hours as another

PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2013 8:39 pm
by Catherine
That feat eluded Victoria Pendleton, and was what made Anna Meares's world championship of last year a special one. All of a sudden, that is the company James is keeping. To put it in another perspective, her two gold and two bronze medals at the world track championships made her the equal of France in the medal table.

Re: Becky James wins two gold medals in 24 hours as another

PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2013 8:39 pm
by Catherine
By Sunday morning the Abergavenny cyclist was running on adrenaline after a sleepless night in her hotel room in the centre of Minsk replaying the three rides that took her to the match sprint gold medal against Kristina Vogel of Germany late on Saturday, knowing that at 11.30 the next morning she would be in action yet again in the keirin heats

Re: Becky James wins two gold medals in 24 hours as another

PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2013 8:40 pm
by Catherine
"I had a couple of hours [sleep] max. I was trying to lie quiet because my room-mate Vicky Williamson had to race today, you've got to respect your team-mate as well, so I was just lying quiet, tossing and turning," said James, whose new status did not prevent her being left behind by the team bus when it left the velodrome.

Re: Becky James wins two gold medals in 24 hours as another

PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2013 8:40 pm
by Catherine
There were two moments when her progress towards her second gold could have gone off the rails. After a seamless qualifying round, which she won from the front, James almost came unstuck in the second, with three riders to go through. At the bell she was caught in traffic, unable to find her way past the other riders. She somehow made space for herself on the back straight and emerged through a gap to finish second.

Re: Becky James wins two gold medals in 24 hours as another

PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2013 8:40 pm
by Catherine
In the final she opted to take control, on the premise that the other riders would then have to come round her to win but the risk in that was that she might expend her energy too early. She led out from two laps to go, winding up the pace, and had enough in the tank to hold off the Cuban Lisandra Guerra. Her rival got her front wheel just ahead entering the penultimate banking but James fought back and then had to hang on and ignore the pain in her legs. "I thought if I could get to the front then they would all have to come round me. Guerra was on the outside, I stayed as close to the red line as I could to give her as far to go round me as possible. It worked out so well, because I thought if I can hold her here everyone will have to come round outside her as well. I was in so much pain but I just pushed and pushed and pushed."

It was a move worthy of Sir Chris Hoy; in such moments stars are born and British cycling has yet another in the pantheon.

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