If his rivals in the British National Track Championships, which finished in Manchester this weekend, thought that eight months out of competition would blunt Sir Chris Hoy’s competitive edge, they were disappointed as the Scot came away from Manchester with three British titles.
The championships were Sir Chris’s first competitive outing since the high-speed fall in Copenhagen last February that sidelined him for the end of last season, but the quadruple Olympic gold medallist showed that he was back to top form following his enforced break from the sport.
Sir Chris came away with wins in the individual sprint – incredibly, his first national title at the event, beating defending champion Matt Crampton in a track record 9.99 seconds – the team sprint, with Sky+ HD, and the keirin, where Jason Kenny finished second and Beijing silver medallist Ross Edgar could only finish sixth.
Another Beijing gold medalist, Victoria Pendleton, also achieved a hat trick of wins in the championships at the Manchester Velodrome, winning the keirin as well as the sprint and the 500 metre time trial.
Other winners over the five days of competition included Geraint Thomas, who took the individual pursuit title, Lizzie Armistead, who won the women’s scratch and points races, Chris Newton doing likewise in the men’s events, and the pairing of Alex Greenfield and Dani King winning the women’s madison.
The event was the first of three top-class cycling events in Manchester this autumn. This Friday sees the start of the UCI Track Cycling World Cup Classics which run through to Sunday, then from November 6-8 the Velodrome hosts the UCI Para-Cycling Track World Championships.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.