UNDAUNTED by being put to the sword by her arch rival Victoria Pendleton - and three others - in the keirin final for which she was a warm favourite, Rockhampton's Anna Meares has set herself for one of the biggest challenges of her courageous career.
She will meet Pendleton - now riding high as yet another home-town gold medallist - in the event that has most defined their long rivalry, the individual sprint on the last day of action at the velodrome.
After four events, almost nobody else has been given a look in except for the two German girls who won the team sprint.
And that was only after Pendleton and her partner Jessica Varnish were disqualified after riding well enough to cruise into the competition final.
Meares finished fifth in the keirin behind Pendleton, China's Guo Shang, Lee Wai Sze of Hong Kong and Clara Sanchhez of France, with only Canadian Monique Sullivan behind her.
It was an unaccustomed indignity for Australia's greatest female cyclist, who has won the last two world championships in the keirin, being raced at the Olympics for the first time.
She admitted she bungled her tactics by jumping to the lead as soon as the pacing motorbike pulled away, believing her best chance was to get to the front and fend off attacks.
But she lost ground when she was squeezed significantly and Pendleton swept past her and everybody else with the blistering speed which has long been her trademark.
"I think the plan was a good one, I just didn't execute it well," said Meares, who was calm and composed after the shock result.
Still to come
Anna Meares, sprint semi-finals and finals, 1am Wednesday
Kookaburras vs Pakistan, Tuesday, 7.45pm