Jess Varnish can be better than me - Victoria Pendleton

Jess Varnish
Jess Varnish (left) beat Olympic champion Anna Meares for the first time in her career
Track World Championships on the BBC
Dates: 18-22 February
Coverage: Live on BBC Two, HD, Red Button, Radio 5 live sports extra, online, mobile, the BBC Sport app and Connected TV.

Double Olympic gold medallist Victoria Pendleton believes Britain's Jess Varnish has the potential to become a better sprinter than she was.

Varnish missed out on the podium in the women's sprint at the Track World Championships in France on Friday.

But when asked if the 24-year-old could be as successful as she was, Pendleton replied: "I think more so.

"I honestly believe that having trained with Jess. She's already achieved more than I did before I was 24."

Varnish beat Olympic champion Anna Meares of Australia but missed out on a place in Saturday's semi-final after losing to another Australian, the Commonwealth champion Stephanie Morton.

Pendleton, who won sprint gold at the Beijing and London Olympics, believes Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Varnish has all the attributes required to become a world champion.

"She's got that killer instinct and she's got more than I had going on physically and mentally in terms of what it takes to be a champion," said Pendleton.

"It's a tough event in my opinion - out of all the events it's the hardest. Some people can't hack it but Jess - one more year before we give her a kick up the bum - I think she'll do it."

Varnish, who finished eighth overall after coming fourth in the race-off, said: "You want to be on the podium, but that's the best I've finished all year.

Joanna Rowsell
"Fourth in the world isn't bad. I can't complain really," said Joanna Rowsell

"To beat the Olympic champion [Meares], I've never beaten her before, so I feel like I'm going in the right direction."

Britain's Joanna Rowsell missed out on a bronze medal in the women's individual pursuit after losing to Australia's Amy Cure.

The defending champion, 26, was part of the women's team pursuit squad which came second to Australia on Thursday, a race which took its toll on the Olympic gold medallist.

Rowsell said: "You're never really going to be happy with fourth, but you can see that across the board everyone has stepped up.

Australia's Rebecca Wiasak took the gold medal from Jennifer Valente of the United States with a dominant display.

Katie Archibald, of Scotland, finished fifth.

Elsewhere, local hero Francois Pervis sprinted to gold in the 1km time trial in his home town of St-Quentin-en-Yvelines.

Pervis, 30, who lives a mile from the track, won his second gold medal of the week after success in the keirin.

He beat Germany's Joachim Eilers and Matthew Archibald of New Zealand in 1min 0.207 seconds.

Russian Artur Ershow of Russia won the men's points race ahead of Eloy Teruel Rovira of Spain with Britain's Mark Christian 17th.

Jon Dibben was 11th after three of six events in the men's omnium.

Top Stories