Britain's Victoria Pendleton claimed a sixth sprint title at the world track cycling championships Friday after a 2-0 defeat of Simona Krupeckaite of Lithuania.
A third leg was scheduled after Krupeckaite had levelled their match 1-1, however race officials relegated the Lithuanian for an infringement in the second match, a decision which handed the title to the Englishwoman.
Australian Anna Meares, who claimed her maiden gold in track's most prestigious event last year, took the bronze medal after dominating Lyubov Shulika of Ukraine.
Pendleton's win will be a huge boost less than four months ahead of her planned retirement from the sport at the London Olympics.
She had been beaten by Meares six weeks ago at the London leg of the track World Cup, where she also failed to make the medals in the keirin.
Pendleton, however, came close to missing out on a medal for the first time since 2004, when she finished fourth at the Melbourne world championships, during a tense semi-final with Meares.
Her rivalry with the Australian is already fierce, and it was cranked up a notch thanks to some determined riding by Meares as she attempted to defend her title in front of her home crowd.
At the end of their first race Pendleton tumbled trackside at high speed after the pair clashed elbows just before the finish, where Meares cruised over the line to go 1-0 ahead.
Pendleton, who suffered only grazing, got back up for the second leg and looked to have the measure of Meares but slowed down going into the home straight after Meares infringed by coming out of her line.
The Australian went on to win but was eventually relegated by the judges.
In the third leg decider Pendleton was leading, but Meares took the lead with just under a lap to go, allowing Pendleton to come round her outside and take the win by photo finish.
Meares, who along with Pendleton is one of the favourites for Olympic gold this summer, will later meet Shulika for the bronze.© ANP/AFP