Victoria Pendleton: Between The Lines

I don’t know where Victoria Pendleton finds the time. Not only did she win a Gold and Silver medal at this years London 2012 Olympics, but she is due to be seen on TV tonight, on the highly successful BBC1 programme – Strictly Come Dancing. Amongst all this, she has managed to write her biography, a true, warts and all account of track cycling and the logistics on how she got to where she is today. So how did it all start for our golden girl of sport? Victoria tells us that she started cycling about the same time that she learnt to walk. This was due to her Father being a keen cyclist. Once she had learnt to ride a bike, Victoria used to go on youth hostelling trips with her family from the age of six onwards. She then started grass track racing with her twin brother Alex at the age of nine, as a hobby in the summer months. Apparently, it was at the age of thirteen that she started to show potential. She tells us that grass track cycling is a fading tradition, however it does help to develop bike handling skills and stamina.

Talent spotted at the age of sixteen, by the assistant national track team coach at the time, Marshall Thomas, he encouraged her to train properly. However, Victoria wanted to concentrate on her education for the time being. It was only while she was studying at University, that she started to train more constructively for track sprinting. Being enormously inspired by the Olympic gold medal success of Jason Queally, at the Sydney Olympic Games, she competed in the 2001 and 2002 European Championships and later that season at the Commonwealth Games in Manchester. Lucky enough to be sent to the UCI (Union du Cyclisme Internationale) World Cycling Centre in Aigle, Switzerland for two seasons in the lead up to the Athens Olympics, here she was trained by Frederic Magné, a seven times World Champion for France.

Victoria now currently lives and trains in Manchester with the rest of the elite Great Britain Track Team. She won her first World Championship title in 2005 in LA. Her book gives a searingly honest account about what drives her to compete in a sport she no longer loves. Written with Donald McRae, 2 time winner of the William Hill Award, “Between the Lines” promises to be THE Olympic autobiography. Victoria Pendleton MBE admits herself that she is not your typical female athlete. Admired as much by the weekly glossies as she is the newspaper back pages, she transcends her sport. In 2005 she became first British female to win Gold at the cycling World Championships in 40 years. She followed it up with gold medals at the Commonwealth Games in 2006 and another World Championship in 2007. Arriving in Beijing for the 2008 Olympic Games, Pendleton was on top of the world. She didn’t disappoint. In an enthralling example of track cycling, Pendleton took Gold and joined the ranks of British Olympic heroes. And then it started to go wrong. Feted by the press and the public alike, behind the scenes the cracks and strains started to show.

Despite retaining her World Champion status in 2009, it was a close run thing and her shield of invincibility started to drop. Victoria was falling out of love with her sport. The sport that had made her was starting to tear her apart. “Between the Lines” documents the considerable lows as well as the well-known highs and reveals why Victoria almost turned her back on cycling before rediscovering her Championship winning form in 2011, the day after suffering one of her most humiliating days on the track. Hitting the shelves within a matter of weeks from the end of her Olympic programme and written with Donald McRae, two time winner of the William Hill Sports Book of the Year, “Between the Lines” promises to be the most honest and emotional book from an Olympian to date.

To buy Victoria Pendleton – Between the Lines for a discounted price of £12.00, please visit Amazon.co.uk

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