Record Time: British Squad Wins Men’s Cycling Team Pursuit in World’s Quickest Time
The British Men’s Cycling Team Pursuit group of Ed Clancy, Geraint Thomas, Steven Burke and Peter Kennaugh took to the London Velodrome set to square off in the finals with their biggest competition; The Aussies. They not only dominated the entire competition, they beat the Australian team in world record time. It was a day the home crowd would remember for the rest of their lives. The 6000 people packed into the venue rose to their feet to salute their newly crowned champions and world record holders.
“I’ve thought about this every day for the last year," said BurkeAustralians Jack Bobridge, Glenn O’Shea, Rohan Dennis and Michael Hepburn qualified second fastest in Thursday’s qualifying rounds. The men’s foursome then cruised through the semi-final round, knocking off the New Zealand team to set up a showdown with the British team in the finals. The Brits eventually got the best of the Aussies, beating them with a time of 3:51.659, a new world record. The Australian team finished close behind in 3:54.581. New Zealand had to settle for a third place finish. Jesse Sergent, Sam Bewley and Marc Ryan and Aaron Gate rode strong to beat Russia in the third place race.
“The last four years we’ve worked really hard as a team and we’re like brothers and we’re proud to come home with second place,” Dennis said. “The GB team were exceptional over the last two days. You couldn’t fault anything they did and they deserve the win and well to them.”
The Australian’s 3.54.317 qualifying time was only beaten by the British team in qualifying, as they broke their first world record. The hometown team then edged the Australian team in the finals, beating their own world record again. After a strong start from the British team in the final round, it looked as if the Australians were going to close the gap and catch the Brits. In the end, the world record setting ride was too fast for the Australians who were left to take the runner-up position in London
“You saw in their qualifying rides that they were dialed into that 3:52 and we thought that they’d go out with a similar tactic,” Hepburn said. We tried to match them over the first two kilometers and our plan was to take it home but they had an exceptional ride and went faster than any other team in the world by a long way. You can’t really be too disappointed when they come out and do a 3:51 and you get second. At the moment it’s mixed emotions but I think we can be proud of second. It wasn’t the result we hoped for and dreamed of over the last few years but I think in due course we’ll look back and be really proud.”