Sir Chris Hoy described becoming Great Britain’s most successful Olympian as the ‘perfect end’ to his Olympic career as his performance brought the velodrome crowd into raptures.
The 36-year-old picked up his sixth Olympic gold medal with a win in the keirin, his second gold in London after team sprint success and confirming his position as the greatest track sprinter of all-time with a final total of seven Olympic medals over four Games starting in 2000 in Sydney.
Hoy drove to keirin gold in pulsating final in which he went into the last corner behind German Maximillian Levy but found the strength to surge home on the final straight to pick up gold and surpass Sir Steve Redgrave’s tally of five gold medals.
"I'm in shock, you try and compose yourself but it's surreal. I wanted to win gold in front of my home crowd. I saw everyone stepping up to the plate and thankfully it worked out for me too,” Hoy said, who then went onto say he would like to go onto compete at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
"The keirin is a lottery and you never take anything for granted in it. I can't describe the feelings I have at the moment. This is enough for me, this is the perfect end to my Olympic career.
"I can't put into words what it means to me. It's one of the greatest feelings I have ever had."
Sir Chris Hoy
"I can't put into words what it means to me. It's one of the greatest feelings I have ever had. I'm 99.9% sure I won't be competing in Rio - how can you top this? Glasgow is another question, as that would be the dream ending for me.”
Shane Sutton, head coach of the Great Britain Cycling Team, paid tribute to Britain’s most successful ever cyclist.
“We have seen a legend, not just in the sport but as a person. The magnitude of the win is unbelievable. Chris pulled victory from the jaws of defeat there. He found something that no other athlete in this sport has been able to find.
"We have just witnessed something in our sport that was the equivalent of Usain Bolt in his sport and it is a great shame we will not see him at another Olympics."
British Cycling President Brian Cookson, OBE, added: "Sir Chris Hoy is a credit to the sport of cycling both in this country and around the world. It is not just his six gold medals which mark him as our greatest Olympian but the way he has conducted himself throughout his career - demonstrating the value of hard work, dignity and professionalism."