Cycling: Obree pursues new heights to set record

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The Independent Online
GRAEME OBREE, the world champion and hour record holder, smashed his own championship record on his way to victory in the 4,000 metres pursuit at the National Track Championships in Leicester yesterday. The 28- year-old Scot took almost two seconds off his 1993 best when he clocked 4min 34.656sec for 12 laps of the Saffron Lane velodrome, beating Nottingham's Bryan Steel by more than nine seconds in a repeat of last year's final.

Steel led for the first kilometre, opening a near two-second lead after the first lap, but Obree took over after three and a half laps. Stuart Dangerfield beat his North Wirral Velo team-mate, Matt Illingworth, for the bronze after being almost almost two seconds faster than Obree over the first kilometre.

Another pursuit record fell to Yorkshire's Yvonne McGregor, whose semi-final time of 3min 54.461sec in the 3,000m beat the four-times winner, Sally Dawes, by six seconds. Maxine Johnson, winner of the other semi-final, was also inside the 1982 record.

Gary Hibbert beat the former holder Paul McHugh 2-1 in their sprint semi-final after McHugh had been disqualified in their third ride for impeding Hibbert by intentionally changing his line on the final banking.