Victoria Pendleton hailed her Olympic keirin triumph as the greatest moment of her career as she stormed to London 2012 gold - just 24 hours after her team sprint heartache.
Pendleton was in tears of despair on Thursday after a fundamental error cost her a first chance of glory and she revealed how holding her newborn nephew for the first time helped inspire a faultless fightback in front of 6,000 screaming fans.
The keirin was meant to be Pendleton's Achilles heel - she had claimed only one world title compared to six in the individual sprint - but she won her heat and semi-final before snatching gold from China's Guo Shuang by the tightest of margins.
The 31-year-old was recently the subject of a warts-and-all documentary which revealed her struggles since winning sprint gold in Beijing four years ago.
"This is the greatest moment in my career so far," said Pendleton, who will retire after attempting to defend her sprint title at the Olympic velodrome.
"I think a lot of people kind of wrote me off after 2011. I had a really rubbish year.
"Injury, personal 'issues', family issues, a lot of things that just nearly made me give up.
"A lot of people thought I'd passed my best and I just wanted to prove them wrong, so this does feel pretty good."
Tears inevitably followed but this time they were of joy - or at least relief after her bid for a hat-trick of golds had gone up in smoke 24 hours previously when she and Jess Varnish were penalised for a technical infringement in the team sprint.
"I want to see my mum, I want to see my family," Pendleton added.
"I want to see my nephew, by the way, who turned my mood around yesterday within seconds.
"I had a little cuddle with my 10-week-old nephew ... and that made everything okay."
It was the first time Pendleton had met nephew Nathan due to her punishing training regime.
"I'll tell him that when he's old enough to understand," she continued.
"But having a little cuddle from a baby can always make you feel a lot better."
That helped put some perspective on yesterday's calamity for Pendleton, whose sheer speed was breathtaking.
"All I did was take the fact that my form yesterday was excellent - I was by far the fastest second lap here," she said.
"It was a personal best from me in both rides, so I knew my legs were the best they have ever been in my entire life, so how could I not come into this and really give it a great shot?"
She admitted she had never known a 24 hours like it.
"No, and I wouldn't want it again, thank you very much," she said.
"I'm glad to be retiring in two days' time. It still goes through my mind, 'Why do I put myself through this?'"
Pendleton is plagued by self-doubt and she questioned whether she rode the perfect tactical race, admitting she struggled to focus after Great Britain set stunning new world records in both the men's and women's team pursuit minutes before her final.
Reminded she had one more race to go, she added through tears: "Yeah, one more to go."
That "one more" is likely to come down to a head-to-head with arch-rival Anna Meares, who failed even to win a medal - Lee Wai Sze taking bronze.
World champion Meares led shortly after the departure of the motorised Derny bike but faded to fifth.
"The plan was a good one but I just didn't execute it very well," said the Australian, who had predicted Pendleton would be better than ever.
"I was expecting the best Vicky.
"She's bounced back from the team sprint.
"I face the same challenge now leading into the sprint and I'll be up for it."
Meares denied being adversely effected by the partisan crowd, three of whom were ejected on Thursday - with one arrested - for abusing the parents of her team sprint partner Kaarle McCulloch.
But she added: "I am surprised there are so many British in the crowd.
"I thought the ticket distribution would be a little more even."