Sir Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish teamed up to win the madison as Britain claimed a fifth gold medal at the Track World Championships in London.
The duo, who won gold the last time they competed in this race in 2008, were roared on to victory by a partisan crowd, beating France into second.
Laura Trott also pleased the Lee Valley VeloPark fans, winning the omnium to claim her second gold of the week.
GB topped the medal table with five golds, one silver and three bronze.
The boys are back
The appearance of Wiggins and Cavendish ensured the championships ended with an electrifying finale.
Thin Lizzy’s ‘The Boys are Back in Town’ boomed out around the velodrome as the fans celebrated what is likely to be 35-year-old Wiggins’ last world track title.
The duo remarkably dragged themselves into contention 168 laps into the 200-lap relay race, knowing they were leading on points but needing to match the lap gained by France, Switzerland and Colombia earlier in the race.
Wiggins launched an attack that Cavendish continued and they formed an alliance with Spain, using each other’s slipstream, to slowly catch the back of the peloton and gain the crucial lap.
Wiggins and Cavendish worked well, tagging each other into the race every lap or so but it took them 18 circuits to gain the lap.
Then, with 11 laps to go, Cavendish came off his bike but the Manxman returned to the saddle despite later admitting to feeling dizzy.
So unassailable was their lead, though, that the Manxman could raise his arms aloft before Wiggins crossed the finish line to celebrate his third madison world title.
“When we went we had to give everything,” said Cavendish. “I hit my head hard so I was a bit dizzy, but I just wanted to get back on and finish with Brad. It could be my last one (Track World Championships) so it’s just perfect to go out like this with Brad.”
Former Tour de France champion Wiggins, who is aiming to win a sixth Olympic title in Rio, described the victory as “incredible”.
“You couldn’t have written a better script,” he said. “It’s so nice to be world champion again.”
“It was like deja vu from eight years ago. We went on to conquer the world in those eight years, like (American president) Barack Obama.
“We’ve had a good term in presidency. Come back, full circle and won it again.”
The pair finished eighth in the madison at the Beijing Olympics, when they were favourites to secure gold, but that disappointment is now merely a footnote in the careers of two cycling greats.
Cavendish is still trying to make amends for previous Olympic failures and is hoping he has done enough this week to merit an opportunity to win a first gold at the Games.
His chances of competing for Britain this summer are in the balance after he finished sixth in the omnium, outside the top-three target he was told he needed to be considered for selection, but his gritty display in the madison will have helped his cause.
|Analysis from Sir Chris Hoy|
|“It’s emotional. It’s hard to put into words what that means to the crowd, to them as athletes. They’ve achieved so much individually, but this will mean so much to them. Cav had to bounce back after a disappointing omnium and that will have done him no harm in his quest for the Olympic Games.”|
Trott supreme once again
Trott, the reigning Olympic and European champion in the six-event discipline, improved on the second places at the last three world championships to regain the rainbow jersey she wore in Melbourne four years ago.
She led the standings by 12 points after five events, finishing third in both Sunday morning’s 500m time trial and the flying lap, and was supreme in the points race.
With 17 laps remaining in the 100-lap race, the Briton was 23 points ahead of her nearest rival after two sprint victories, and her dominance gave the crowd an opportunity to stand in ovation as she rode the final lap.
She ended the competition with 201 points, an 18-point advantage over silver medallist Laurie Berthon of France, who outsprinted overnight leader Sarah Hammer in the race for second and third.
“It’s only taken four years to get the gold back,” laughed Trott, who has won three omnium silver medals since winning the world title in 2012.
“I tried to get enough points early and I’m just so happy. This is what I did before London. This time I really wanted to win so I’m just glad I could pull it off.”
It has been a wonderful week for the double Olympic champion, who has now won seven world titles and whose gold in the scratch – a non-Olympic event – was Britain’s first victory of the championships, and her consistency in the omnium in London makes her favourite to retain her Olympic title this summer.
|Analysis from Dame Sarah Storey|
|“She’ll go away and look at this and look at how consistent she was. She’ll consolidate and see that she has the right approach. She can take great confidence that she’s covering all six omnium events incredibly well.”|
Kenny runs out of steam
Jason Kenny could not replicate his fiancee’s feats of claiming a second world crown of the week.
The 27-year-old did not have the staying power to succeed in the keirin, finishing sixth in the final as the exertion of winning sprint gold on Saturday night took its toll.
But the triple Olympic champion will be buoyed after rising to the occasion in the sport’s blue riband event, winning a third world title, to prove he is once again peaking in time to succeed at yet another Olympics.
Kenny said he had been “hung out to dry” in the keirin, but was positive on his overall performance.
“I didn’t feel I had the legs to take it on from the front so I was gambling and gambling, trying to get a wheel,” the Bolton rider told BBC Sport.
“I ran out of legs really quickly, which I expected. I was pleased how I got to the final, I got there efficiently, but couldn’t quite get down to the black line.
“The main thing for me and the sprint lads is that we’re fast enough to be competitive with five months to go to the one we want to win.”
A thrilling sprint finish was won by Germany’s Joachim Eilers, who beat his nearest rival, New Zealand’s Edward Dawkins, by two thousandths of a second.
|Analysis from Sir Chris Hoy|
|“Unfortunately, Jason was boxed at the start of the sprint and couldn’t find his way out and it was too far to come out on the outside. It was a great final, it’s a shame for Jason. Emotionally, he would have been drained from Saturday. Trying to sleep after a major victory is not easy.”|
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