Becky James writes herself into history with keirin world title win
Event: UCI Track Cycling World Championships
When: 24 February 2013
Where: Minsk, Belarus
How it unfolded
The then 21-year-old Welshwoman entered the last day of competition with the chance to have medalled in each of her events after Saturday evening’s proceedings rewarded her with the prestigious sprint world championship title.
Right from the gun in the opening heat, there were no signs of fatigue from the previous few days of all-out racing. James latched onto the wheel of Jinjie Gong and then powered past the Chinese rider to advance to round two and avoid the drawback of having to ride the repechages.
In the second round, James was positioned fifth coming into the final lap but spotted a gap on the back straight, driving forward to come across the line behind Cuba’s Lisandra Guerra Rodriguez. With the top three going forward to the major final, the Abergavenny rider ensured her place and the chance of yet another rainbow jersey.
With everything to play for, a determined James went hard from the gun and commanded the lead position behind the derny.
At the bell, James held the inside line and managed to hold her position and with tremendous composure and speed accelerated through to cross the line first, securing her fourth medal of the championships and her second world title in as many days.
What they said
"Oh my gosh. I can't believe it. Wow.”
"After the second round I was feeling it in my legs and I really struggled getting up from the back. I just thought if I can get to the front, they're all going to have to come round me
"I stayed as close to the red line as I could, making them go as far as possible. It just worked out so well.
"I was in so much pain, but I just pushed and pushed and I finished, and I finished in the front.”
Why should this be the British Cycling Ride of the Year 2013?
After having taken it to a best of three against Kristina Vogel of Germany in the gold medal final of the individual sprint the previous evening, James got back in the saddle the following morning and again illustrated her dominating form in collecting yet another rainbow jersey.
Becky James was the first female British rider to take home both titles since Victoria Pendleton in 2007.
However, as James had already taken the team sprint and 500m time-trial bronzes from days one and two, her total of four medals set another record, this time the first Briton in history to accomplish this at a world championship.