She won the scratch race while Sir Bradley Wiggins and his team pursuit comrades were licking their wounds and talking about a resurgence in time for Rio 2016.
But that was to ignore the strength in depth of Team GB’s cycling – and perhaps the stardust ingrained in the Lee Valley VeloPark, scene of some of the most memorable moments of London 2012.
Wiggins and Mark Cavendish brought the curtain down on the event with a scintillating comeback. The partisan crowd did their best to lift the cyclists as they wound up to victory, reeling in their opponents and even surviving a late spill on to the boards by Cavendish. Their stunning victory in the Madison came from nowhere to take first and give Britain an assailable, table-topping fifth gold medal.
The two superstars of British cycling failed to claim gold in the 200-lap event in the 2008 Beijing Games, leading to a simmering feud, but collectively, arm around each other and friends again, they have made Britain the team to beat in Brazil in the summer after a disappointing world championships last year.
Sadly, the Madison is not an Olympic event and Cavendish conceded: “It’s one of the last times we’ll ride together. That’s incredible.” Road race specialist Cavendish may not even make the plane to Rio having failed to find a podium finish in the men’s Omnium.
Wiggins, who now has seven world track titles, said the pair left it late. “We knew it was now or never, fortunately we had racked up enough points early on.”
Meanwhile, Trott was not to be outdone and she bagged a second gold in the multi-discipline omnium. Jon Dibben’s victory in the points race and Jason Kenny’s win in the sprint completed the gold haul of five, two more than Germany, in second place.
Kenny has found his form at the right time to retain his Olympic title. He said: “The time was slow and it wasn’t the prettiest race of them all. We tweaked with something on the bike and found some time. To qualify second I was really pleased with that and it just transferred into the race.”
Other medals for Britain include a silver and bronze for the men and women’s team pursuit squads, a bronze for Andy Tennant in the individual pursuit and a bronze by Becky James in the women’s keirin.
British Cycling technical director Shane Sutton said of Cavendish: “At the moment emotions are high, he rode some great sprints but didn’t get the result he wanted. We’re not discounting Mark. That decision is between him, us and the coaching team so we’ll sit down and see where we go.”