With a Beijing Olympic gold and an MBE under her belt, Victoria Pendleton is probably ‘the greatest women’s sprint cyclist of all time’. But who does she tip for Olympic glory at London 2012?
"They are all girls and most of them are cyclists", she told us in Stylist this week. With the superstar cyclist naming 2012 "the year of the girls", here are her 'ones to watch' at the Olympics, whether you secured tickets, or will be watching at home.
Our heptathlon hope for 2012, Jessica Ennis is an "obvious" choice according to Pendleton. After graduating with a degree in Psychology from The University of Sheffield, Jessica became a professional athlete, and at just 25 has become World Champion twice after winning the Gold medals in Berlin 2009 and Doha 2010. Injury out her out of the Bejing Olympics in 2008, but this year she's back, and going for gold.
Victoria's team mate on the GB track team (pictured left), Jess was spotted as a 14 year old. The daughter of Jim Varnish, the 1985 Cycle Speedway World Champion, Jess comes from a strong cycling background, and after winning medals at junior level became an integral part of the women’s sprint team, claiming two 2nd place finishes at the European Championships and most recently a World Championship Silver medal.
Racing cyclist Laura Trott (pictured centre) has been tipped as one of the most exciting prospects in British cycling. The 19-year-old from Hertfordshire won a whole host of awards at the Track Cycling World Cup in Cali, Colombia, winning bronze in the six-discipline omnium (an Olympic event), and winning the team pursuit for Great Britain.
Long-distance swimmer Kerri-Anne Payne was born in South Africa, and began swimming aged four. Since taking home a silver medal for her 10k marathon swim at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, she's become one of the most talked-about swimmers on the GB team, and was crowned world champion at the 2009 World Championships in Rome.
Victoria Pendleton has launched the Hovis Wholemeal Gold Start Challenge app at facebook.com/hovisbakery