VICTORIA Pendleton’s date with destiny on the track cranked up a gear this week as she was named in the Team GB cycling squad for London 2012, writes Russell Claydon.
It will be all or nothing in the Ex-Mildenhall Cycling Club member’s third Olympic Games, after announcing it will be her swansong from the sport with retirement set to follow whatever happens in the Velodorome.
Pendleton was named in the sprint team alongside Jessica Varney on Wednesday and the 31-year-old will be desperate to add to her gold medal in the women’s individual sprint in Beijing.
“I am very proud and excited to be officially selected as a member of the Team GB track cycling team,” she said.
“London 2012 will be my third Olympic Games and to have the opportunity to compete at a home Olympics is amazing.”
Pendleton, who was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) back in 2009, as well as the first cyclist to take the crown of the Sunday Times Sportswoman of the Year in its 20 year history in 2007, takes one of the 14 coveted places in the track cycling squad.
But Ousden-based cyclist Ross Edgar, a silver medallist in Beijing, was not named in the men’s team after being dropped following the London World Cup Olympic test event, where he won bronze alongside Sir Chris Hoy and Jason Kenny.
But the former Commonwealth, European Under-23 and World Cup team sprint champion is set to continue training in the hope he will get his shot at glory in the Games as a reserve call-up.
Meanwhile, Zoe Newson, the sister of Needham Market striker Sam Newson, has been named in the Paralympics Team GB powerlifting squad.
East Bergholt based Newson will be taking part in her first Paralympic Games and Needham fans played a part after generously backing her training costs following a special match day collection last season.