I'm a girl, and proud of it! Pin-up Pendleton won't change glamour image
Victoria Pendleton is happy to be cast as the 'glamour girl' of British cycling.
The 31-year-old may thrive within the ultra-competitive environment of the UK team, but she is determined to preserve her feminine side.
An Olympic gold medal and victory at eight world championships have established her as Britain's outstanding female track cyclist, but she refuses to change her appearance.
Branching out: Victoria Pendleton launched her range of ladies cycles at Halfords,
'I'm a girl, yes I am! And I do like glamorous things, so I don't mind being viewed in that way,' she said at the launch of her own range of ladies cycles, exclusively available from Halfords.
'I don't want to change. People tried hard to change me in the beginning because they felt that me doing my hair or wearing make-up showed I wasn't committed.
Golden girl: Pendleton in 2008
'I felt like I shouldn't have to
compromise on what I think is me. I'm not going to shave my hair off to
prove I'm a committed athlete.
'That's just not me and I'd be kidding myself if I thought otherwise. Plus I'd have a cold head!'
Brit special: Pendleton is happy to case as the glamour girl of cycling
Pendleton's thoughts are dominated by London 2012, which she will enter as one of Britain's best medal hopes.
A key date in the build-up for the Games is next month's test event at the velodrome.
'I've got a break for a week before the World Cup, which is the London test event,' she said.
'It will be the first competition at the London Velodrome.
'I'm very excited about that because it will be important to see people racing on it, the tactics they use, what's effective.
'Those are elements that you never know until you've had a full-blown competition there.
'Everybody is going to be there because it's also qualification for the worlds and the Olympics.
'That's the only competition I have before the worlds, which are in Melbourne in April.
'I'm quite sad it will be my last world championships. Then it's Olympic qualification and I'll be on shutdown.'
Victoria Pendleton's range of ladies cycles will be exclusively available online from www.halfords.com from March 22 and in selected superstores nationwide from March 29.