Ed Clancy leads the GB team to victory in the team pursuit final against Australia at the Track World Championships in Melbourne (AFP/Getty Images)
This article was originally published on Cyclingnews.com.
Great Britain set a new world record (3:53.295) in the gold medal
ride off, pipping Australia by two tenths of a second to end the home
team’s run two-year run in the rainbow jersey, meantime New Zealand
fought back in their clash with Russia to win the bronze medal.
The time of Great Britain bettered their time (3:53.314) set at the Beijing Olympic Games four year ago.
Andrew Tennant sat out in the final for Great Britain, replaced by
Steven Burke, while there was no change to the Australian line up of
Jack Bobridge, Glenn O’Shea, Rohan Dennis and Michael Hepburn. Great
Britain took the race out from the gun with around three tenths of a
second separating the two teams over the opening laps.
With 1500m down, Australia had closed the gap and the teams were on
equal terms. Australia then edged ahead over the next 1000m before the
Brits had their noses slightly back in front.
Seven tenths of a second separated the teams on the bell lap with
Great Britain surging for the line with Geraint Thomas at the front of
the train helping the reigning Olympic champions to an average speed of
Thomas, said that he was pleased with the turn around in results from the London World Cup in February.
“It definitely makes up for London, that’s for sure,” Thomas said.
“It was a great race, it reminds me of Manchester back in ’08, before
the Games. We broke the world record there as well. I think we made a
lot of gains after that and I’m sure we can do the same now.”
Ed Clancy, the only remaining member of the quartet which won gold in
Beijing, explained that it was an arm-wrestle to earn their new title.
“I don’t think we’ve ever had to fight as hard as that for a win,” said Clancy. “It was pretty epic.
“Those last couple of laps, me and Pete [Kennaugh] were absolute
passengers. We were just hanging in there. I just finished the last
whole lap off the back.
“I was almost expecting the worst when I looked at the scoreboard. I thought, ‘we’re going to lose it on me’.”
Bobridge meanwhile could not hide his disappointment.
“It feels like a great big kick in the guts,” he said. “We went over there, we got one-up on their home turf, they’ve come here, they’ve kicked us back in the guts and beat us.
“We just have to rebound from here, use it as positive energy.”
New Zealand rallied hard to overcome Russia, who led for the first
half of the race. The Kiwi’s time (3:57.592) was two seconds faster than
their qualifying mark.
For full results, report and photos of the track world championships, visit Cyclingnews.com.