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Silver lining as Victoria Pendleton cycles off into the sunset with fiancé

08 AUGUST 2012

There were plenty of tears, hugs and kisses as Victoria Pendleton bowed out of her career as an Olympic athlete to wed the love of her life.

In a last emotional race at the velodrome, cycling's poster girl missed out on the longed-for gold, but was decorated with silver – and the adoration of her nearest and dearest.

 

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As the strains of John Lennon's Imagine reverberated around the stadium, her fiancé Scott Garner was perhaps the most tearful and emotional member of Team Pendleton.

Flowers and medal in hand, she bowed before the man who left his post as Team GB's cycling coach to be with her because relationships with staff and athletes are frowned upon.

Now that her punishing professional obligations are at an end, Victoria will walk down the aisle – and Scott will claim his girl back from the early morning starts and endless training sessions.

 

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"I'm looking forward to the two of us walking our dogs, Jonty and Stella, together," he told the Telegraph.

"I've saved up two years on that front, so I think I've earned it."

In fact, both of them have.

When the couple fell in love while the wheels were spinning, the fallout was intense. Scott resigned from his post and Victoria's team mates blamed her for the loss of one of the team's most respected mentors.

But their steadfast love has silenced the critics and Scott, now re-instated, is the man who proudly supported the competitor dubbed 'Queen Victoria'.

Close behind is her father Max.

During Tuesday's poignant last chapter in the velodrome, the perfectionist he took to the pinnacle of her sport with his tough love gingerly approached him with her silver medal and asked: "Are you proud, Dad?".

The answer? "Of course" he was.

Wrapping things up in a post match press conference, Victoria's two men were very much on her mind.

"My father was a cyclist and it was a way of doing something with him. But I can't do it any more, literally I couldn't do it for another year. When you win a bronze medal in the world (championship) it's like the world has fallen apart, it's tough,” she said. 

So what does the future hold now for Max's little girl done good?

"…I'm looking forward to having a life, getting married, and trying new things and new challenges."

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