Left field

The Reuters global sports blog

World records, cramp and crashes; Olympic velodrome’s got it all


Excited Britons Victoria Pendleton and Jessica Varnish interrupted their post-race media interviews to roar on four-times Olympic champion Chris Hoy after demolishing the women’s team sprint world record at the World Cup on Friday, one of four world-record breaking rides around the 2012 Olympics velodrome on day two of the test event’s competition.

Having sat down to avoid leg cramps, rather than standing like the other cyclists while reporters hustled them for a quick word, they paused as Hoy whizzed past at the Olympic velodrome amid a cauldron of noise and then promptly joined in.

“Go Chris!” they screamed at the top of their lungs, the pair having just slashed 0.074 of a second off the world record set minutes earlier by Australian world champions Anna Meares and Kaarle McCulloch.

“It’s just unbelievable, this track is amazing,” Varnish said as the partisan crowd cheered despite 10-times world champion Hoy only managing bronze in the men’s team sprint.