Victoria Pendleton in Esqure

Even with the Tour de France in full swing there is always time to take a sideways look at the lovely Victoria Pendleton; Olympic Gold medalist from Beijing.  Victoria makes the cover of Esquiremagazine’s August issue, which was out yesterday, in a preview for some delightfully slinky pictures inside.  

We can’t think of any other British sportswomen who has made the cover of both Esquire andFHM.  How the image of cycling, particularly women’s cycling, has changed in Britain in the last decade.  It would have been unthinkable for a lady cyclist to appear on the front cover of Esquire ten years ago.  Let’s hope that Esquire, unlike FHM, actually paid Victoria for her session.

The glory of Pendleton's body, of course, is her magnificent haunches and of all the Esquire pictures this one best captures the power in her upper legs and glutes.

It is good to see, in this Olympic year, that magazine publishers and others are starting to realise that some people find fit, toned women attractive and that to be sexy they don't have to be emaciated sticks.

Triple P likes a girl who packs a bit of muscle.  Perhaps it's something to do with the amount of time he spent admiring lady rowers at college!  Last year Triple P was chatting to a UK national team rower at a charity fun run.  She was wearing lycra shorts and a top and had sculpted shoulders and upper arms, powerful glutes and those bellied rear thighs that rowers have.  Delicious! 

Meanwhile, Victoria has also been seen shaking her lustrous locks for a Pantene shampoo advertisement.  

She’s also been seen promoting EDF Energy in a dress made from wire. At least it’s a better image than Hovis’ bizarre Pendleton-as-Britannia picture.  

Victoria has done a lot of shoots for bread company Hovis, who always seem to find strange things for her to do in their pictures.  They have also had her pose as Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz and as an angel and devil.   Who knows what they have planned for her next?  The proof of the fact that she has gone mainstream is that they no longer see the need to include a bike in her pictures.

Earlier this year Victoria launched her own range of women’s bikes, including this rather natty retro number, at car accessory and bike retailer Halfords.  She now even has her own retro-cycle company style logo.

The bikes have been a great success; partly because of the popularity of the BBC period drama Call the Midwife which features our baby-delivering heroines setting off for calls on similarly be-basketed bicycles.

We're sorry to see her promoting evil antipodean media magnate Rupert Murdoch but if you are part of British competitive cycling it's hard to avoid, given the huge amount of money Sky are putting into the UK's cycling programme.

This shot is a good one of her thighs, which, sadly, some photographers try to disguise.  It's like hiding Jessica Ennis' stomach.  In our wildest fantasy we would have a naked Pendleton sat astride an equally naked Ennis' midesction and wriggling about whilst we poured Laurent Perrier Rosé Brut over them both (based on a true incident - as the film posters sometimes say - with a couple of Italian ladies in the eighties).

She even manages to look good in the slightly odd- judo-style team uniform she modelled a few weeks ago.  Triple P is worried, however, that like Jessica Ennis, the ladies are spending far too much time in photo shoots and not enough time training.  We are concerned that the pressure of home expectations may get too much for some of our Olympic favourites.  Hopefully our pessimism will be proved wrong!  This is the picture we want to see again!

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