GB break world record to claim gold

04 April 2012 / 12:30

Great Britain edged a titanic tussle with Australia to take team pursuit gold in a world record time on the opening day of the Track Cycling World Championships at the Hisense Arena in Melbourne.

In the four-man, four-kilometre event Ed Clancy, Pete Kennaugh, Geraint Thomas and Steven Burke - in for Andy Tennant, who was part of the qualifying effort - clocked three minutes 53.295 seconds as Britain claimed a first world title in the event since Manchester in 2008.

Australia's Glenn O'Shea, Jack Bobridge, Rohan Dennis and Michael Hepburn were second in 3mins 53.401secs, just outside the previous world record - 3mins 53.314secs set by Britain in winning Olympic gold in Beijing almost four years ago.

Britain, with Andy Tennant riding before being replaced by Burke, set the then third-fastest time in history in qualifying in the afternoon and Australia recorded the fifth best to set up the eagerly-anticipated showdown.

The duel in the final only served to whet the appetite for August's Games track programme four months hence as the lead appeared to changed hands each half lap before Britain powered away in the closing stages to triumph.

The world champions in 2004 and 2008 went on to win the Olympics and Wednesday's win is a good omen for a young squad.

In the bronze medal ride-off, New Zealand clocked 3:57.592 to finish ahead of Russia (3:59.237).