Great Britain break team pursuit world record

GB set team pursuit world record to silence Aussies in spy row with glory Down Under

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UPDATED:

10:45 GMT, 4 April 2012

Great Britain's men beat their own team pursuit world record as they surged to glory over old rivals Australia in 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.

Pure delight: Geraint Thomas leads the celebrations after the record-breaking team pursuit final at the world championships in Melbourne

Pure delight: Geraint Thomas leads the celebrations after the record-breaking team pursuit final at the world championships in Melbourne

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 this 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.

On track: Ed Clancy, Pete Kennaugh, Geraint Thomas and Steven Burke

On track: Ed Clancy, Pete Kennaugh, Geraint Thomas and Steven Burke

On track: Ed Clancy, Pete Kennaugh, Geraint Thomas and Steven Burke

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

The final match-up had added spice coming against the backdrop of a spy row after the Australians were caught by
Dave Brailsford, the all-conquering performance director of British
Cycling, filming a Team GB practice session.

Details of the row were given to Sportsmail, during which time Brailsford said: 'That's them filming us training.

‘It's not that what they were doing
was bad as such,’ he reasoned, ‘but come on! Really, I suppose we should
take their close interest as a compliment.'

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