Team GB crush Australia to win team pursuit gold

 

Great Britain’s male team pursuit squad gave no quarter to their most tenacious rivals Australia today as they claimed their second straight Olympic gold in track cycling’s most coveted title and simultaneously demolished their own World Record for a second time in two days.

Spurred on by multiple World and Olympic champion Bradley Wiggins in the velodrome crowd - himself responsible for Britain’s cycling gold rush in Wednesday’s individual time trial and also part of the Beijing team pursuit squad four years ago -  Great Britain clocked a time of 3 minutes 51.659 seconds, shaving almost a second off their own  World Record time and nearly three seconds faster than silver medallists Australia. A few minutes earlier, New Zealand had seen off Russia for bronze.

The latest chapter of a decade-long rivalry between GB and the Aussies unfolded in near-faultless style for the British, forging ahead from the gun. Rather than the repeat of their nailbiting finale in Melbourne’s World Championships in April where the lead changed six times, the Australians were always on the backfoot, albeit drawing dangerously close at one point before fading for good.

“In our ride 90 minutes before” - where Britain had clinically dispatched Denmark to move into a final where either silver or gold was the only outcome -  “we kind of knocked it out, because we wanted to be in top shape for the final”, 2008 and now 2012 gold team pursuit medallist Geraint Thomas revealed.

“Then against Australia it was amazing how fast we were going, to be honest I could have done with a bigger gear.

“It was the same feeling as at Beijing, man after man we were coming through.”

Thomas revealed that he had not been feeling in great shape last week after going down with food poisonin. “I had felt like that I was down to one leg last week. But thanks to these boys, with so much support from them, I came through all right.”

“Geraint went fantastically well, given what he’d gone through,” added Steven Burke, a bronze medallist in the Individual Pursuit in Beijing who switched to the team event for London.

“I’ve thought about this every day for the last four years since Beijing, and today  I just wanted to do my turn and bring it home for the lads.”

Thomas had a well-deserved thought for Andy Tennant, Britain’s fifth Team Pursuiter, who raced as part of the squad en route to Melbourne’s gold medal victory where Britain finally cracked what had been Australian domination at World Championships level since Beijing, but  on the reserve bench yesterday. “Andy could have stepped up, they decided to keep the same team but he’s a big part of all this," Thomas insisted.

One eye-catching detail of this run of British triumphs is that in all four of the timed events so far - the women and men’s team sprint, and yesterday in both the men’s team pursuit and the women’s team pursuit - the GB track squad have set World Records, at least once. A surefire sign that not only are they beating the opposition soundly, but Britain are also ahead by their own, even more exacting standards - and this [Saturday] evening, after the  GB women's team pursuiters clocked the best time in yesterday's qualifier, a fourth 2012 Games track gold could well be within Britain's grasp.

“We’re inspired by both what the other GB riders did yesterday in the other events and we wanted to be part of that, it motivates us more,” Thomas - who will likely now return to focussing on the road, where he has led the Tour’s Best Young Rider competition in 2010 and 2011 - commented.

“It hows how good the squad was, there was a lot of talk after Bejing about how we’d have to live up to all these expectation after winning all those medals there, but we’re managing to do that,”

“Whenever anybody gets up on the track, they’re thinking about going for the win.”

 

Voices
voicesGood for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, writes Grace Dent
News
The University of California study monitored the reaction of 36 dogs
sciencePets' range of emotions revealed
Life and Style
fashion Designs are part of feminist art project by a British student
Arts and Entertainment
The nomination of 'The Wake' by Paul Kingsnorth has caused a stir
books
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
The Tour de France peloton rides over a bridge on the Grinton Moor, Yorkshire, earlier this month
film
News
Snoop Dogg pictured at The Hollywood Reporter Nominees' Night in February, 2013
people... says Snoop Dogg
News
i100
Life and Style
food + drinkZebra meat is exotic and lean - but does it taste good?
Arts and Entertainment
Residents of Derby Road in Southampton oppose filming of Channel 4 documentary Immigration Street in their community
tv
Voices
voicesSiobhan Norton on why she eventually changed her mind
News
i100
Extras
indybest
Sport
Scottish singer Susan Boyle will perform at the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony in Glasgow
commonwealth games
Arts and Entertainment
Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson stars in Hercules
filmReview: The Rock is a muscular Davy Crockett in this preposterous film, says Geoffrey Macnab
Life and Style
tech
Caption competition
Caption competition
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Climate change threatens to make the antarctic fur seal extinct

Take a good look while you can

How climate change could wipe out this seal
Man Booker Prize 2014 longlist: Crowdfunded novel nominated for first time

Crowdfunded novel nominated for Booker Prize

Paul Kingsnorth's 'The Wake' is in contention for the prestigious award
Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

A $25m thriller starring Sam Worthington to be made in God's Own Country
Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

A land of the outright bizarre
What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

The worst kept secret in cinema

A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

The new hatched, matched and dispatched

Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
Why do we have blood types?

Are you my type?

All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

Honesty box hotels

Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit
Commonwealth Games 2014: Why weight of pressure rests easy on Michael Jamieson’s shoulders

Michael Jamieson: Why weight of pressure rests easy on his shoulders

The Scottish swimmer is ready for ‘the biggest race of my life’ at the Commonwealth Games
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it