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As track world championships start in London, 2012 Olympic champ gets first success in new sport

On the day the UCI Track World Championships start at the velodrome where she won Olympic gold in the keirin at London 2012, Victoria Pendleton has secured her first victory as an amateur jockey under National Hunt rules.

The 35-year-old won this afternoon's Betfair Switching Saddles Handicap Chase at Wincanton on Pacha du Polder, the horse she was unseated from in her National Hunt debut at Fakenham last month.

While Pendleton has raced on the flat and at point-to-points since taking up horse racing last year, today's race was just her second National Hunt event.

Her victory puts her in a strong position to achieve her dream of competing in an amateur race at the Cheltenham Festival later this month on the same horse in front of bumper crowds on Gold Cup day.

> Pendleton unseated on National Hunt horse racing debut

 

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.