The former golden girl of British cycling, Victoria specialised in sprint, team sprint and Keirin disciplines winning multiple Olympic, World, European and Commonwealth titles during her cycling career. In 2015 she announced her intention to become a jockey and has since competed at Cheltenham, Ripon and Wincanton where she won her first race. Victoria specializes in Q & A where she talks about her career highs and lows as well as the huge physical demands made on elite athletes.
Encouraged by her father, himself a grass track cyclist, Victoria Pendleton began her cycling career following in his footsteps at the age of nine. It wasn’t long before she was talent spotted by a national coach but education came first with the cycling taking a back seat until Victoria had graduated from Northumbria University with a degree in Sport and Exercise Science. However, this didn’t stop her competitive streak and in 2001 she won four medals in the National Track Championships.
Victoria’s first World Championship title came in 2005 where she took Gold in the Sprint, the event she went on to dominate during her outstanding career with consecutive Gold medals in 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010, preceded by Silver in 2006. This firmly established her as the world’s finest female track cyclist of the time. An achievement recognized with The Sunday Times Sportswoman of the Year Award and the Sport’s Journalists’ Association Sportswoman of the Year Award. However, there was much more to come! In 2008 Victoria won two gold and a silver medal at the World Championships and went to take the ultimate accolade as Olympic Champion of the track sprint event in the Beijing games. An MBE followed in the 2009 Honours List and in 2010, she successfully defended her world champion title for the fourth consecutive season. Her final Sprint World Championship title came in 2012 in a hard-fought battle with arch-rival Anna Meares and later in the same year another Olympic title followed, this time in the Keirin.
After her success at the London 2012 games, Victoria made the decision to retire from the track but once a competitor, always a competitor and she has merely swapped one kind of saddle for another, training to be a jockey.
Now a fully-fledged amateur jockey, she fulfilled her ambition of riding in the Cheltenham Festival in 2016 and in so doing, not only defied her critics but described it as one of the greatest achievements of her life.
Victoria is available on the corporate circuit as a motivational speaker, for moderated Q and A and for personal appearances. In her presentations she discusses the huge physical and psychological challenges faced by elite athletes and the preparation and mindset required to reach the top.