Team GB cycling star Victoria Pendleton celebrates her medal haul with a night on the town wearing red, white and blue with her coach turned fianc
23:09 GMT, 9 August 2012
Although she was pipped to a golden goodbye by Australian arch enemy Ann Meares, Victoria Pendleton is not one to mope at home.
It wasn't long before the Queen of the track hit the town to celebrate her medal haul and retirement from the sport that made her a household name.
The 31-year-old sprint cyclist was spotted leaving Mahiki with fianc Scott Gardner, and with news of her expected 1million retirement earn out, the drinks were on her.
Night on the town: Victoria Pendleton and Scott Gardner left Mahiki holding hands last night
The cyclist ditched her lycra and opted for a more demure look, although she was still showing her patriotic support in her red, white and blue ensemble.
Known for her love of heels and make-up, Victoria didn't waste any time in dressing up for the occasion.
The star, who wowed on the cover of Esquire, looked polished and stylish in a crisp cream blouse, high-waisted blue shorts and red, white and blue stilettos.
Party people: British track cyclist and Olympic Gold & Silver medalist, Victoria Pendleton and Scott Gardner left Mahiki
Look of love: Victoria gazed at her fiance, the former Team GB sport's scientist
She wore her hair slicked back into a graceful bun and carried a navy clutch bag as she showed off her enviable athletic legs.
She locked hands with ex-Team GB sports scientist Scott as they headed out of the famous Mayfair haunt and caught a taxi home.
The pair, who's relationship notoriously broke a golden rule, looked very much in love as they left the nightclub and Victoria gazed into her partners eyes as they were driven home.
the run-up to the Olympics, Pendleton fell in love with Scott
Gardner, which she described as ‘disgustingly unprofessional.’
When they told the team coaches they
were starting to see each other romantically outside work, they were
told to keep quiet until after the Games so as not to disrupt the team’s
Sooner or later their secret was unearthed.
‘I honestly left the Olympics feeling like I’d committed a crime — like I’d killed somebody' she said.
It caused a huge rift between her and her fellow athletes and coaching team, but judging by these photographs, they are putting on a united front.
The pair are set to marry next year and the future certainly looks bright for the track star.
So in love: The pair, who met through the competitive sporting world are set to marry next year
Patriotic: The star went for a red, white and navy colour theme and showed off her enviable legs
Victoria's retirement from competitive
cycling will be made comfortable by a set of sponsorship and marketing
deals which could earn her up to 1million a year, according to experts.
Pantene hair product
company has chosen her as the face of its Pro-V ‘smooth and sleek’
range, reinforced by photos of the athlete in a figure-hugging dress.
She also lends her name to a range of women's bikes, sold through Halfords bikes, and a sponsorship deal with Hovis bread.
Their relationship has caused huge rifts between Victoria and her fellow athletes but they are very much in love
But the retiring track queen has insisted there is a conveyor belt of fresh new British talent waiting to take her crown and win more cycling golds in the future.
She said Laura Trott, 20, who won double gold at the Olympics, was one among many talented youngsters.
'There’s quite a few, you don’t know them yet, but you will do.
'There’s a lot of young athletes who can’t wait to find a space on the team really. There’s a limited amount of riders allowed to compete for them and they are coming through, so I’m sure there will be lots of new faces just like Laura’s coming through and winning plenty of gold medals in the future.'
It was a dramatic competitive finale for nine-times world champion Pendleton, with a world record and then disqualification for a takeover infringement in the team event, a stunning keirin gold and a near-miss in the sprint against her long-time Australian rival, Anna Meares.
She said coming into a home Olympics as a defending champion was one of the toughest mental challenges she ever faced.
Big earner: The Olympic medal winner is set to have a bright future with experts predicting a 1mil earn out
'I know there’s a point where your body as an athlete says “Actually I think, you know, don’t do that anymore, we’d like to say no”,' she told BBC Breakfast.
'And injuries do crop up and you know I have been training for a long time now so I have noticed over the last couple of years niggles appearing more often through training, so that’s one thing, but psychologically coming in as reigning Olympic champion into a home Games has possibly been one of the hardest things I’ve mentally had to contend with and I wouldn’t want to do it again.'
Pendleton, from Stotfold in Bedfordshire said, while she was giving up racing, she would still be getting on her bike.
Victoria will still ride her bike for fitness she says
'I love riding my road bike and that will never change. I really genuinely enjoy training and keeping fit, I couldn’t live without it and after three days I get totally grumpy anyway.
'But racing – I’ve had enough of the pressure, of trying to maintain the top, top level in the sport for so many years.
'I’ve been 10 years in the team and six of those I’ve been a world champion at least once, if not multiple events, so I feel the standard is too high to maintain any longer and I am never going to experience a games like this.'
She said she would now have to find other ways to utilise her competitive edge.
'Every aspect of life can be competitive, I am sure.
'I will always find a way. My brother and sister won’t even play board games with me, we don’t do that because it always ends in tears – it gets a bit too competitive.
'I am really looking forward to new challenges, a new set of things to concentrate on in terms of perfecting a different skill or working on a different aspect of another career path.
'I just feel like I’ve done this and it’s time to move on.'