Cycling: First world record broken at the Olympic Velodrome

 

Great Britain's women upstaged the men in team sprint qualifying today
and will ride for gold on the second evening of the Track World Cup in London.

Victoria Pendleton and Jess Varnish advanced to tonight's final as second-fastest qualifiers, with world champions Australia setting the first world record at London's Olympic Velodrome.

In the men's event, Olympic champions Sir Chris Hoy and Jason Kenny combined with Ross Edgar to clock 43.876 seconds and place fourth, enough to advance to the race for bronze this evening, where they will face Australia.

France - stripped of their world title for Gregory Bauge's anti-doping violation - clocked 43.606secs to qualify fastest, with Bauge combining with Mickael D'Almeida and Kevin Sireau.

Germany's Rene Enders, Robert Forstemann and Maximilian Levy, awarded the world gold after France's relegation, were second fastest in 43.650.

Australia's Matthew Glaetzer, Shane Perkins and Scott Sunderland clocked 43.869 to qualify third fastest and set up a meeting with Britain.

In the women's event, Australia's Kaarle McCulloch and Anna Meares - the clear favourites for Olympic gold - combined to better their own mark from the 2010 Track Cycling World Championships, clocking 32.828 in the two-lap event.

Varnish and Pendleton showed their continual improvement by becoming the second team to dip below 33 seconds, clocking a British record of 32.966 to progress to tonight's gold medal ride-off. The battle for third will be contested by China and France.

Meanwhile, Dani King was set to replace Wendy Houvenaghel in the British squad for this evening's women's team pursuit final.

Women's endurance coach Paul Manning suggested a change was likely after Britain qualified second fastest behind Canada and King, world champion last March, was withdrawn from her scheduled ride in the non-Olympic scratch race.

Instead she was poised to join Laura Trott and Joanna Rowsell in the three-woman, three-kilometre event against Canada.

PA

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