Queen Victoria well-dressed for the occasion

IAN COLE profiles another of the contenders for the SJA Sports Awards: 2007 Sportswoman of the Year, Victoria Pendleton

When Victoria Pendleton first came to our SJA British Sports Awards lunch, she made a couple of giggly calls to our Sandra Phillips to chat about what she might wear to the event.

Since then, Victoria’s choice of clothing has caused something of a stir, especially for those pictures where she’s appeared to wear nothing at all beyond a coating of gold spray paint.

Pendleton has become the poster girl for British cycling, doing fashion-style photoshoots for a range of newspapers and magazines.

On November 26, Pendleton’s only concern may be whether to wear the three world championship gold medals she won in Manchester, or the Olympic gold she collected in Beijing. When she turns up at The Brewery to discover whether she has won the SJA’s Sportswoman of the Year award for a second time, she really ought to wear them all.

Pendleton was the last of the British cycling team to race and she said afterwards that there was added pressure on her because of all the gold medals that had already come the team’s way.

The 28-year-old from Bedfordshire weighs in at 9st 4lb and is 5ft 5in tall but dashes round the banks of the velodrome at speeds of up to 40mph.

It’s a great feeling for the SJA when the reigning Sportswoman of the Year stands on the central podium at the Olympic Games.

But is her sprint cycling gold enough to retain her title, heading off the challenge from Rebecca Adlington, Rebecca Romero and Christine Ohuruogu?

You, our members, must decide.

Click here for a full shortlist of likely contenders for the 60th annual SJA Sports Awards

To read Ian Cole’s previous profiles of award contenders, click here

If you are an SJA member and want to cast your vote for the 2008 Sportsman, Sportswoman and Team of the Year, click here and complete the easy-to-follow form.

Book your ticket for the 2008 SJA British Sports Awards – click here for the form, including the members’ price discount