Sir Chris Hoy hailed his fifth Olympic gold as his best after Great Britain's men's team sprint squad triumphed on a night of high drama at the London 2012 Olympic Velodrome.
After Victoria Pendleton and Jess Varnish were relegated from the team sprint for a takeover infringement and Britain's men's team pursuit quartet set a world record, Hoy, Philip Hindes and Jason Kenny progressed to the final of the three-man, three-lap team sprint in a world record of 42.747 seconds.
The British trio clocked another world record in a stunning finale, finishing in 42.600secs.
In a repeat of the final four years' ago in Beijing, France's Gregory Bauge, Michael D'Almeida and Kevin Sireau had to settle for silver, finishing in 43.013.
Hoy said: "When I crossed the line, I didn't have to look at the scoreboard, I knew we'd won.
"I thought my first win in Athens was the most memorable for me, but this by far is my greatest win.
"It's an incredible feeling."
On moving level with Sir Steve Redgrave as the Briton with the most Olympic gold medals, Hoy added: "It's amazing, but it's just a number really.
"I still don't think anyone can better Steve's record in terms of what he's achieved.
"It's not just the number, it's the way he did it, in five consecutive Games.
"It's been the hardest couple of years of my career the last two years, trying to keep going and to work harder than I ever have before.
"The older you get, you've got to work so much harder to keep that level.
"To think he did that in five consecutive Games, it's incredible."
Britain were fourth fastest at the Track Cycling World Championships in Melbourne, but were relegated for a takeover infringement between first rider Hindes and Kenny, the second rider.
Form in the final preparation camp in Newport was good, but expectations were surpassed as Britain successfully defended the title.
"We knew if we got it right we could do it, but we didn't expect to win," added Hoy, who performed the anchor role.
Kenny said: "We really wanted to do this after our World Championships went disastrously wrong.
"This one is unbelievable. I cannot believe how good things went."
Hoy first became Olympic champion in Athens in 2004, with victory in the one-kilometre time-trial, before claiming a hat-trick of victories in Beijing.
On Tuesday he is set to ride for a sixth Olympic gold in the keirin, an event in which he is defending champion and reigning world champion.
Hoy, who was emotional as the anthem was sung by the partisan crowd and the flag was raised on the podium, said: "I feel like the pressure's off now and I can really enjoy it. The keirin is very unpredictable, anything can happen.
"I feel I've got great form and the morale boost you get from a win like tonight is incredible.
"I'll get up there, give it my best and see what happens."
There was triumph for Britain's men, but the corresponding women's event ended in Jess Varnish and Victoria Pendleton being relegated for a takeover infringement.
The duo had qualified second fastest for the final before falling victim to officialdom, meaning Varnish's Games was over.
Hoy said: "They were already in the final, they already had a medal of some colour and it was taken away.
"I feel sorry for the girls, but mainly for Jess because that was her one event.
"Vicky I'm sure will bounce back very well in the sprint and the keirin."
Pendleton is set to ride in the keirin tomorrow, when Britain's team pursuit quartet will also seek gold, having set a world record in qualifying today.
Ed Clancy, Steven Burke, Geraint Thomas and Peter Kennaugh laid down the gauntlet to their rivals, clocking 3:52.499.
It was 0.796 seconds faster than their World Championship-winning record and three seconds faster than nearest rivals Australia.
Britain were set to meet Denmark, with the winners advancing to the final. Denmark qualified in 3:58.298.