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.”

 

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
A boy holds a chick during the Russian National Agricultural Exhibition Golden Autumn 2014 in Moscow on October 9, 2014.
news
Life and Style
love + sex
Arts and Entertainment
Victoria Wood, Kayvan Novak, Alexa Chung, Chris Moyles
tvReview: No soggy bottoms, but plenty of other baking disasters on The Great Comic Relief Bake Off
Sport
Ashley Young celebrates the winner for Manchester United against Newcastle
footballNewcastle 0 Man United 1: Last minute strike seals precious victory
Life and Style
Tikka Masala has been overtaken by Jalfrezi as the nation's most popular curry
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Seth Rogan is one of America’s most famous pot smokers
filmAmy Pascal resigned after her personal emails were leaked following a cyber-attack sparked by the actor's film The Interview
News
Benjamin Netanyahu and his cartoon bomb – the Israeli PM shows his ‘evidence’
people
Arts and Entertainment
80s trailblazer: comedian Tracey Ullman
tv
News
i100
Life and Style
A statue of the Flemish geographer Gerard Kremer, Geradus Mercator (1512 - 1594) which was unveiled at the Geographical Congree at Anvers. He was the first person to use the word atlas to describe a book of maps.
techThe 16th century cartographer created the atlas
Arts and Entertainment
Stephen Tompkinson is back as DCI Banks
tvReview: Episode one of the new series played it safe, but at least this drama has a winning formula
News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

Setting in motion the Internet of Things

British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

Cult competition The Moth goes global

The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

Pakistani women come out fighting

Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
Leonora Carrington transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star

Surreal deal: Leonora Carrington

The artist transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star
LGBT History Month: Pupils discuss topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage

Education: LGBT History Month

Pupils have been discussing topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage
11 best gel eyeliners

Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
Cricket World Cup 2015: Tournament runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

Cricket World Cup runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

The tournament has reached its halfway mark and scores of 300 and amazing catches abound. One thing never changes, though – everyone loves beating England
Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot