Cycling: Wiggins' pursuit ends in gold

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The Independent Online

Bradley Wiggins won gold for Great Britain in the individual pursuit at the World Track Championships in Stuttgart last night.

The Londoner narrowly beat Luke Roberts in the final, completing the 4,000 metres in 4min 18.576sec to better the Australian's 4:19.306.

Wiggins - under the guidance of Chris Boardman, still the world record holder in this event - had expected a more comfortable winning margin but was nevertheless delighted after trailing for the first three-quarters of the race.

He said afterwards: "I thought I'd have a bit more in the tank than him but that's the pursuit."

Wiggins was joined in the last four by compatriot Paul Manning, who lost his bronze medal heat to Spain's Sergi Escobar.

Although tempered by the absence of last year's winner Brad McGee, Wiggins' victory sets him in good stead in the build-up to next year's Olympics in Athens. It will also have cheered the British Cycling Federation after all three entrants in last night's kilometre time-trial - Commonwealth gold-medallist Chris Hoy, Olympic champion Jason Queally and Jamie Staff - failed to win a podium place and a medal.

Earlier, Wiggins had cruised into the final in a meeting with Russia's Alexey Hardov, setting a time of 4:20.243. But it was his time in the qualifying round - 4:17.342, over four seconds faster than Roberts and the fastest 4,000m by a Briton since the "superman" position pioneered by Boardman was outlawed by the International Cycling Federation - that most impressed.

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