The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge hugged as the 36-year-old made history, drawing level with that other knight of the realm – Steve Redgrave – in his historic medal tally.
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Before his event, the king of velodrome, said modestly: “Realistically any medal would be an achievement."
But he added: "That’s not to say we are not hoping to win gold. It’s going to be so close that if you are up there you could win any medal."
Battle-hardened Chris, who is a veteran of three Games, was right to allude to the roll of the dice that can bring bitter disappointment.
Victoria Pendleton, 31, who was defending the gold she won at the Beijing games, along with team mate Jess Varnish tasted defeat.
The pair were disqualified on a technicality, despite breaking the world record.
Victoria said: "It's just one of those things that happens. Now and again rubbish things happen."