Joanna Rowsell says the British women’s team pursuit speed machine will only get faster after they annihilated their own world record to win gold at the UCI Track World Cup in Manchester.
Olympic golden girls Rowsell, Laura Trott and Dani King - and Elinor Barker - bettered their world record set in qualifying earlier in the day by a further four seconds, having knocked two off their best time from two weeks ago at the European Championships in the Netherlands.
And Rowsell said to watch out for further improvement after the home favourites almost lapped Canada in a thrilling display of 4:19.604 seconds around the Manchester velodrome.
"We always said we would go quicker for 4k then we went for 3k at the Olympics, it's definitely going to get quicker but I would say we are ahead of schedule," Rowsell, sitting down on a chair she was so tired, told reporters.
“Over the last few qualifications we've been nudging it that little bit harder each time. Having a team that you can see at the end obviously helps you go faster as well."
The British four were already inside their own world record pace a quarter of the way into the 4000-metre race and they had opened up a massive lead of almost three seconds by halfway.
Canada lost a rider with over 1000 metres to go and then all eyes, including those of coaches Shane Sutton and Sir Dave Brailsford, were on whether the girls could pass their helpless opponents.
The men’s quartet had earlier kicked off proceedings in perfect fashion when the Olympic and European gold medallists beat world champions Australia to put the home crowd in buoyant mood.
Led by London 2012 winners Ed Clancy and Steven Burke, with Owain Doull and Andrew Tennant completing the four, Britain edged their illustrious opponents by just over half a second with a winning time of 3:58.654.
“This is a real start for Rio now,” said Clancy. “London was a special place last year and it was awesome to perform in the capital city, but this is our home track.
“When it’s full of people like this, there’s no better place to ride.”
It was no easy triumph though, after Australia got their noses in front from the first time split and stayed ahead for the first half.
In the blink of an eye however the Britons responded, opening up a sizeable lead and extending their advantage to over a second in the closing stages.
Australia lost a rider as the relentless British four piled on the pressure to roars of delight around the velodrome to hand the home nation the first gold medal of the meet.
“Every time we race in Manchester it gives us that little boost, well a big boost today,” said Burke.
“It’s my favourite World Cup to race.”
Olympic champion King rounded off her exhausting evening with a seventh-placed finish in the 4000-metre scratch race.
© Sportsbeat 2013