In an event in which riders start in opposite straights, he overhauled and eliminated the Dane with five of the 16 laps remaining on the 250-metre wooden track. Boardman had to complete them on his own, but clocked 4min 24.496sec and astounded everyone by saying that he had eased up. 'I was able to sit up for the last couple of laps,' he said.
He intends to go faster in tonight's semi-final against Australian Mark Kingsland, but is wary. 'It was critical to get the best time for the semis,' Boardman said. 'Hopefully, it will be a much easier ride and I want to beat my best again. I am much more confident now but I'm not being complacent. I have been to big competitions before and seen many shocks.'
He has created the latest, and last night put out the man who won the bronze medal in last year's world 4,000m championship at Stuttgart's indoor arena.
The Danish camp said that Petersen had been ill last week with a form of food poisoning.
Last year, on the Leicester track, Boardman's pursuit of speed reached world standard when he set a world 5,000m record. His time of 5:47.706 stood for more than two months before the American Kent Bostick improved it by more than a second. Now it is the Merseysider who is heading for a new high.
Simon Lillistone, of Shrewsbury, won his qualifying heat and advances to Friday's 50-kilometre points race final.Reuse content