Victoria Pendleton backed in Stotfold and Mildenhall
- 3 August 2012
- From the section England
Britain's cycling gold medallist Victoria Pendleton can expect another homecoming ceremony in the Bedfordshire town of Stotfold where she was born and brought up.
Civic leaders in Stotfold said they will look to hold a celebration similar to the one that took place at the town's Memorial Hall after Pendleton won sprint gold in Beijing in 2008.
Brian Collier, mayor of Stotfold, said: "It was absolutely fantastic and the whole of Stotfold was glued to their television sets and you could hear the cheering.
"We were all watching the disqualification at Stotfold FC yesterday and that was a bit of a downer, but we were certain she would pick herself up and come back.
"She packed out the Memorial Hall in 2008 and there were dozens of youngsters and she gave all of them her time and it was brilliant.
"Since then we've seen more and more youngsters around here doing proper cycling in all the gear - Victoria's been inspirational."
Tandem with dad
Pendleton was introduced to competitive cycling by her father Max when she was nine years old at Mildenhall Cycling Club in Suffolk - about 50 miles away.
Max is still a member there, his daughter is a honorary life member and about 30 other members gathered at the club to watch Pendleton's sprint victory.
Mark Burchett, club chairman, said: "Most of us here can remember her as a little girl, on a tandem with her dad with it chucking down in Lincolnshire, cycling around youth hostels and mucking in.
"To us that's still the sort of girl she is and the whole of the GB cycling team are very down to earth.
"They haven't let it go to their heads and I think that appeals to more people and inspires them."
Pendleton now takes part in the women's sprint which starts on Sunday with the final on Tuesday.
Earlier this year she announced her intention to retire after London 2012.
"To go and win the sprint gold will be the crowing glory and to retire at that level on that note - you can't write that sort of script," said Mr Burchett.