Becky James stunned by historic World Championship success

World Track Cycling: Becky James wins second gold in keirin

Double world champion Becky James is still coming to terms with her historic feat and billing as cycling's new star.

James won the women's sprint and keirin within 24 hours, having won bronze in the team sprint and 500m time trial.

The 21-year-old Welsh athlete will fly home from Belarus on Monday as the first British rider to win four medals at a single World Championships.

"I'm just still taking it all in. I can't actually believe it's happened," she told BBC Radio Wales.

"It's absolutely crazy. My grandparents were the first to tell me at the team hotel that I'd made a little bit of history.

"It's insane and I didn't expect to do that."

Australia's Anna Meares was the last female rider to win four medals at a single World Championships, in Melbourne in 2012, while Victoria Pendleton's best was three, which she managed on three occasions from 2007 to 2009.

With Meares, the 2012 Olympic sprint champion, taking a year out of racing and Britain's Pendleton firmly retired, James took full advantage to dominate the field.

Two-time Olympic and nine-time world champion Pendleton has predicted this to be "the turning point" for James's career, and British Cycling head coach Shane Sutton says a new era has just begun.

"We all know the capabilities of Victoria Pendleton, she's one of the greatest women sprinters of all time," said Sutton.

"But Vicky's called time on her career and fortunately we've got a more than capable athlete that's stepped up. We've lost one great but I'm sure we've just found another one."

Despite her historic achievement, James had to hitch a lift from the Minsk velodrome after clinching her second gold on Sunday when the GB team left for the hotel without her.

James victorious in sprint final

"I took longer than normal in the doping control and they kind of forgot me, so I managed to get a lift back with the BBC guys to the hotel," she said.

Injury and illness hampered her hopes of making the 2012 Olympics, where Pendleton and Jess Varnish thrived in GB's golden summer.

Missing out certainly hurt, but also increased her appetite to succeed.

"Everyone has moved on," said the former junior world champion sand Commonwealth Games silver medallist from Abergavenny.

"It's all about the next Olympics and the next event coming up. But I had to do it myself, I love the sport and if you love it you'll get over it and focus on the next thing ahead. That's what I did."

An injury-free winter training programme was clearly evident on the fifth day of racing when James led from the start to win keirin gold.

Astute tactical riding, which she attributed to coach Jan van Eijden, was a feature of earlier success in Minsk, but sheer strength and determination came to the fore in her final race.

"My legs were absolutely killing me," she said. "It had been such a hard week after five days of racing. So I thought if I got to the front, everyone's going to have to get around me and it's going to be harder for them.

"I had a little plan in my head of what I wanted to do. When they did get over the top of me I knew I could hold them there and keep going to the finish line. Adrenalin got me through."

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