Hoy's perfect 10
Ballerup Super Arena, Copenhagen
The message from British Cycling so far this week may be that medals don't matter much at these World Championships - but try telling that to Sir Chris Hoy.
Sweat was still dripping from the Scot's face after he stepped off the podium where he had collected gold for the keirin, and his first request was for a pair of trainers so he could release his aching feet from the discomfort of his painfully tight cycling shoes.
But he still wore the beaming smile that had been plastered across his face from the moment he clinched his 10th world track title and the sense of pride he radiated showed exactly what it meant to get his hands on another coveted rainbow jersey after injury denied him the opportunity in 2009.
Yes, the road to London 2012 is more important but personal success matters too - especially with a landmark victory such as this - as well as giving the British fans who travelled to Denmark something to cheer about.
Hoy won his first world title in 2002 - photo: AP
And, seeing as the keirin is still an OIympic event, I'm guessing British Cycling's performance director Dave Brailsford was delighted as well, meaning everybody connected with the British team was happy, probably for the first time this week.
That's because, until Hoy's memorable triumph, day two of racing in this quiet Copenhagen suburb had been horribly like day one, from a British perspective in any case - I'm pretty sure the Australians here had enjoyed it rather more.
Hoy, who had been undone by a broken pedal on Wednesday at the start of the men's team sprint, began his keirin campaign by being sent crashing to earth by a rival rider, with Malaysia's Josiah Ng Onn Lam subsequently - and rightly - being disqualified for cutting across the 34-year-old Scot at the start of their first-round heat.
Beforehand, Hoy's race had been stopped because fans had hung Union Jacks too near to the track and it seemed everything was against Britain in general, and the reigning Olympic champion in particular.
Unscathed after the crash, Hoy dusted himself down before storming into the second round, though precious little else went right for Team GB in the next few events.
There was another case of deja vu in the women's team pursuit, where Wendy Houvenaghel had taken silver in the individual event on day one.
This time, Houvenaghel, Lizzie Armitstead and Joanna Rowsell lost their title to the resurgent Aussie riders, and seeing New Zealand break their world record in the bronze medal race just rubbed salt into the wound.
And the disappointment suffered by Victoria Pendleton and Jess Varnish, who finished fourth in the team sprint, echoed that experienced 24 hours earlier by Chris Newton when he was denied a place on the podium by one point in the points race; with Newton's near-misses continuing on Thursday when he had to settle for fifth place in the scratch race.
In the meantime, Australia were mopping up the medals, with their women adding the team sprint to their team pursuit crown and making it four wins in two days.
Does it matter? Not to Brailsford, who is adamant that wins in any non-Olympic discipline are, well, fool's gold - but he admitted some of his riders, like many fans, can sometimes take a bit more persuading.
Brailsford has been a key figure in Britain's cycling success - photo: Getty
"The overall medal table this week is not the critical thing," Brailsford told me when we spoke, appropriately enough, during the men's individual pursuit; an event Britain used to be unstoppable at but do not bother with now it has been dropped from the Olympic programme.
"There are, dare I say, a lot of soft medals in non-Olympic events which will cloud the picture," he explained. "We will just look at the Olympic disciplines and where we are at in those in relation to the rest of the world.
"We also have to be mindful that we are mid-Olympic cycle and our riders have to be able to come back and have more to give when it really counts. If you max out here, which I think a lot of the other nations are doing, then where do you go? We are not maxed out, that's for sure.
"But do the riders always understand that we are looking at the bigger picture? No, no and no. Most of the time it is very difficult for them to accept. And it is even hard for us to take too.
"It hurts me, and I can stand back and see an overview of what we are trying to do in moving step by step towards a much bigger goal. For the riders, a lot of them judge themselves by their performance on a bike so, when they don't win, they perceive they have let people down.
"It's not like that though. My only concern is that they go out and give it their best shot. We have got to fight but we don't have to win. We don't have to win anything here."
Despite his victory, Hoy agrees with the party line - although he realised the significance of breaking Britain's gold medal duck in a sport we have become used to dominating.
"It was important for the team as well," Hoy added. "Although the performances across the board from our riders have been excellent, we hadn't won a gold medal and inevitably the media were going to start asking questions. So it's good to take a bit of pressure off the rest of the team."
Minutes after crossing the line, Hoy was talking about developing his keirin tactics to keep his edge up to the London Games and saying how he will have to improve if he wants to be champion again.
But all that can wait, as first he will have the chance of an 11th world title when he rides in the sprint on Sunday. Only France's Arnaud Tourmant, with 14, has more rainbow jerseys and Hoy is confident of moving closer to that mark before this week is out.
"This win is great for my confidence," explained the Scot. "I certainly ride on morale and when my confidence is up I get the best out of myself. There's no pressure on me now. I've retained the world title in an Olympic event. The sprint is going to be an extremely hard challenge but it's one I'm looking forward to now, so bring it on!"
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