Copycat effort 'led to world record'

05 April 2012 / 07:26

A lesson learned from arch rivals Australia helped Great Britain's team pursuit squad to their world record on the opening day of the Track Cycling World Championships, Ed Clancy has revealed.

Clancy was joined by fellow Olympic champion Geraint Thomas, Pete Kennaugh and Steven Burke - a replacement for qualifying rider Andy Tennant - as Britain won an epic battle with the hosts at Hisense Arena.

Britain clocked three minutes 53.295 seconds in the four-man, four-kilometre event, unexpectedly beating the mark set in the Olympic triumph in Beijing in 2008.

The lead changed throughout the titanic duel - causing British coach Dan Hunt to say afterwards "I'd rather have had my teeth pulled out than have watched that" - but Australia's Glenn O'Shea, Jack Bobridge, Rohan Dennis and Michael Hepburn were eventually beaten, 0.106secs behind in 3mins 53.401secs.

Part of Britain's tactical effort can be attributed to Australia, who had employed spy tactics to video their rivals' efforts while in Victoria.

Clancy, who on Thursday began his six-event omnium campaign, said: "We are almost copying the Aussies. We noticed that Bobridge was going for a lap and three-quarters start so we had a bit of that.

"Some of the boys pulled in longer turns in the middle of the race, knowing we would only get three turns each rather than the traditional four.

"Sometimes it has worked; sometimes it hasn't. I don't necessarily think it's faster. But it worked here."

It was a key world title for Britain, ending three successive years of Australian dominance with a first triumph in the event since 2008.

Clancy believes Australia remain favourites for London, when the duel will recommence on August 2 and in the finals on August 3.