Victoria Pendleton was born on 24 September 1980 in Stotfold, Bedfordshire, to Max Pendleton and Pauline M Vine. She began racing at the age of nine, but had been encouraged by her father, a former British National grass track cycling champion to cycle from an early age.
Her racing talents were spotted at the age of sixteen, but she chose to go to University where she began training seriously. It was in 2001 whilst still a student she won three silver medals and a bronze at the British National Track Championships. In 2001-2002 she competed at the European Championships and later did a season at the Commonwealth Games in Manchester.
Vitoria represented Great Britain internationally, and won nine World titles including a record of six in the individual sprint competition. After winning her first World Championship title in 2005 she continued to dominate, then in 2007 she won three World Championship Gold medals and established herself as one of the best female track cyclists in the World.
Victoria received many awards including The Sunday Times Sportswoman of the Year award, and the Sports Journalists’ Association Sportswoman of the Year. In 2008 she won two gold medals and a silver medal at the World Championships and an Olympic Gold medal for women’s sprint in Beijing. Victoria received an MBE in 2009 and also defended her World title in sprint for a fourth year in 2010.
She retired from professional cycling in 2012 after the Olympics, taking home gold and silver medals. Her career was recognised in the 2013 honours list and she received a CBE for her achievements in cycling.