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Cycling arch-rivals prepare for Worlds

liquor boxliquor box Posts: 184
edited March 2012 in Pro race

Thought this might be of interest
The intense rivalry between track cycling greats Anna Meares and Britain’s Victoria Pendleton has flared again a week out from the world championships in Melbourne.

Pendleton, the reigning Olympic champion in the sprint and an eight-time world champion in the sprint events, has described the Australian as a rider who “likes to push the rules”.

One of the highlights of the April 4-8 worlds and the London Olympics will be the expected duels in the sprint, keirin and team sprint between the pair.

They had an epic duel in a sprint semi-final at last month’s London World Cup round, which Meares won two heats to one.

Meares is the reigning world champion in the three sprint events.

The Great British star has never quite forgiven Meares for an incident during a keirin race in 2006, where the Australian “hooked” Pendleton, or cut her off.

“Anna and I are very different riders – she’s someone who kind-of likes to push the rules and I definitely don’t,” Pendleton said.

“But there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s just slightly different styles and how we approach the same event.

“I was really annoyed when she cut me off in the keirin in 2006 because they don’t re-start keirins and your chance is gone.

“That really shocked me because she apologised for doing it afterwards, saying `I’m sorry I hooked you, I didn’t mean it to be dangerous’ and I was like `well … okay then, I wouldn’t do it, you might do it’.”

Whatever their difference in riding styles, Pendleton admits part of the problem with their personal relationship is that they are too alike as people.

“Physically, in terms of our performance and in terms of our ambition, we are probably too similar,” she said.

“If you get two people in the same room like that, there’s bound to be a bit of a (clash).

“There’s no animosity on my behalf towards her and I’m really sad to think that she might genuinely feel that way towards me.

“It kind of happened and I don’t even know how.

Pendleton would like to take some of the feeling out of their rivalry.

“I’ve heard her make some comments about how she dislikes me and I dislike her – I’m not entirely sure where it’s come from because we used to be quite good pals,” she said.

“I remember going out with her for a few beers actually in Stuttgart after the world championships in 2003.”

Asked if they could have a beer now, Pendleton replied: “I don’t think she’d want to have one with me, which is sad.

“At the end of the day, this isn’t war, this is sport.

“I feel like almost the media has created this thing around both of us that we both feel … shielded a little bit from each other, some kind of tension and barrier.

“Neither of us know how much of it is true or has been created – it’s quite a difficult environment to have a friendship.”
© AAP 2012

Should make for an interesting few months of racing, lets hope it lives up to expectations
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