Only minutes before, a triumphant Varnish and Pendleton had set a world record in the two-woman, two-lap event in qualifying, although the record was topped moments later by China.
Things took a dismal turn however when Varnish and Pendleton were eliminated from the women’s team sprint because of an illegal changeover. The judges’ decision was met with energetic boos from the spectators gallery.
For Pendleton, it’s not quite the end of the London 2012 Olympics, as she will take part in the keirin on Friday, but for Varnish, the Olympic Games are over.
The women’s cycling team were clearly devastated and Pendleton told the BBC: “It wasn’t my fault and it wasn’t Jess’s fault. It’s one of those things that happen. Rubbish things happen sometimes and this is one of them.”
Pendleton recently said in an interview: “I feel emotionally attached to track cycling. It’s what I’ve been successful at in my career, I’ve never been successful at anything else.”
She has said that this will be her last Games before retiring from cycling.
The GB star reportedly left the velodrome soon after the relegation.
The elimination of Varnish and Pendleton means that Germany were promoted to the final against China, with Australia and Holland to contest bronze.