The 36-year-old powered his way to victory in the final cycling race of London 2012 to win his sixth Olympic gold – one more than rower Sir Steve Redgrave.

The pair embraced in the Velodrome after Sir Chris surged through the field to claim the keirin title in the  final few moments of the race.

He punched the air throughout an ecstatic lap of honour in front of 6,000 spectators enjoying Team GB’s seventh cycling gold of the Games.

Chris Hoy, Steve Redgrave, London 2012 Chris Hoy received a hug from Steve Redgrave after overtaking his gold medal haul (Picture: AFP/Getty)

Sir Chris was then reduced to sobs on the podium after ruling himself out of any future Olympics.

However, he did set his sights on the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, and the velodrome there that bears his name.

Sir Chris Hoy, London 2012 Sir Chris Hoy was reduced to tears on the podium (Picture: Mike King)

‘I can’t express the feeling that I’m having right now. It’s just unbelievable,’ said Sir Chris.

‘This is the perfect end to my Olympic career.’

He praised his coaches and colleagues such as British Cycling performance director Dave Brailsford, who is tipped to get a knighthood.

Sir Chris was knighted after becoming the first Briton to win three golds in one Games – at Beijing in 2008.

He had won gold in the time trial in Athens four years earlier.

‘There are so many doom and gloom stories, with the economy. It’s been

nice to have a bit of sunshine and happiness for a change,’ added Sir Chris.

‘I’m looking forward to a normal life, spending time with my wife, having a drink or two, playing golf.’