GB men cyclists deliver "kick in the guts" to Australia with world team pursuit record
Wednesday, 04 April 2012
April 4 - Great Britain's male pursuit team beat their Australian hosts and rivals twice in the space of three hours at the World Track Cycling Championships in Melbourne to claim a morale-boosting gold ahead of London 2012 – and breaking their own world record in the process.
In a final in which the lead changed hands six times the British trio of Ed Clancy, Peter Kennaugh and Geraint Thomas (pictured) withstood Australia's desperate final effort to reclaim first place despite the fact that their fourth team member, Steven Burke, had dropped away after finding the pace too much with two laps remaining.
The British team crossed the line in 3min 53.295sec, just 0.106sec ahead of the charging Australians and 0.019 inside the world record set by Britain's victorious team at Beijing 2008, where Clancy and Thomas were joined by Paul Manning and Bradley Wiggins.
The victory came just seven weeks after Australia had beaten Great Britain by a margin of two-and-a-half seconds at the London World Cup, one of a series of Australian victories in recent months.
"Today was a great day," Thomas said.
"We always knew we could beat them but I am surprised we broke the world record although we started to feel in the last few days we might go close.
"We are going to get faster yet.
"We made a lot of gains in the Olympic camps before Beijing and we can do that again, improve two or three seconds."
Further evidence of revival within the endurance squad came when Ben Swift (pictured), who made way this week for a resurgent Thomas, won the scratch race, a non-Olympic event but a staple at World Championships.
Meanwhile, Australia's Jack Bobridge admitted that Team GB's victory Down Under was "a real kick in the guts".
He told Australia's Herald Sun: "It is very disappointing.
"We went over to London and got one up on them at the World Cup and they have come over here and kicked us back in the guts over here.
"We rode a personal best, they rode a world record, we got beaten by a better team on the day.
"Unfortunately it was a world title and we lost.
"Definitely we have to rebound from here and use it as positive energy.
"Every day we wake up from now to the Games we have to put 110 per cent effort into the pedals until we get over there and hopefully get one back on them."
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