Hoy and Wiggins line up for gold hat-tricks

When you have six Olympic medals you start to get choosy about the next one. No sooner had Bradley Wiggins won his latest here yesterday, helping Britain to win gold in the team pursuit final with their second world record in 24 hours, than he was looking forward to tomorrow's madison event, in which he partners Mark Cavendish.

"We'll be really firing for gold," Wiggins said. "At this stage it's shit or bust. Just a medal won't do tomorrow now. It's got to be gold at this late stage."

Wiggins and his British team-mate, Chris Hoy, are in a personal race to rewrite the record books. They have already won two gold medals here and tomorrow both have the chance to emulate the achievement of the swimmer Henry Taylor, who is the only Briton ever to have won three at a single Games, at the 1908 London Olympics. Wiggins, who in Athens four years ago became the first Briton for 40 years to win three medals of any hue at a single Olympics, will also beat Sir Steve Redgrave's British record of six if he finishes on the podium.

It would be a fitting finale to the greatest performance by any British team at an Olympic Games for 100 years. British cyclists are favourites to take all three golds on offer in tomorrow's final session on the track and those victories would take their gold tally to eight out of the 10 events contested at the Laoshan velodrome. Given that Nicole Cooke won the women's road race and Shanaze Reade is the favourite to win the BMX title on Thursday, the British squad could leave China with their luggage weighed down by an extraordinary 10 gold medals.

Yesterday's gold medal race against Denmark was won in the most emphatic fashion imaginable by Ed Clancy, Paul Manning, Geraint Thomas and Wiggins. The Britons came out flying and maintained their speed to lead at every time check. By the end of the four kilometres they had all but caught the Danes and crossed the finishing line in 3min 53.314sec, taking nearly two seconds off the world record they had set in reaching the final the previous day.

"We wanted to push the Danes and make them crack a bit because we didn't think they'd be able to go as fast as they did yesterday," Manning said. "We went out even faster than we'd planned and after that we managed to hold it. Catching them and seeing them in front of us over the last six laps spurred us on and hence the time. It was just a question of holding that speed and getting the changes right."

Wiggins admitted: "We expected to win, but it's a relief to actually do it and finish the job when you're under a bit of pressure. We didn't know how much more the Danes had and I wasn't my usual self yesterday. I was a bit tired. But tomorrow I pulled up really well and was back to my usual self."

Admitting that he had hardly thought about his final race tomorrow, Wiggins added: "The madison is the hardest of the lot. You can be the strongest yet have a crash early on. But we'll be strong. We're the world champions. For me the big pressure events are over. We'll enjoy it tomorrow."

Wiggins said he had hardly had time to savour his first gold medal here in the individual pursuit on Saturday because he had had to join the rest of the team pursuiters for qualifying the following day.

"I enjoyed the individual pursuit win for about half an hour, but then the medal went in the drawer and I was thinking what a huge disappointment it would be if we didn't win tonight, even though I had one gold," he said. "All the way along the focus has been on three gold medals. If Chris and I had come away from here with one each we'd probably have been quite disappointed. I suppose you do get a bit greedy."

Had Wiggins and Cavendish worked out a race plan? "Not at all. Actually I was a bit fed up with him because he woke me up this morning, messing around in the apartment. He was running round like a schoolkid. He's up for it."

Hoy, who has already won gold in the keirin and team sprint, goes for his third in the individual sprint and was in outstanding form as he reached the semi-finals with two victories over Malaysia's Mohd Azizulhasni Awang. He now faces France's Mickael Bourgain, though his greatest challenge could come from his fellow Briton, 20-year-old Jason Kenny, who beat the experienced Frenchman Kevin Sireau and now races Germany's Maximilian Levy for a place in the final.

Victoria Pendleton is through to the women's sprint semi-finals after beating Lithuania's Simona Krupeckaite in ruthlessly efficient style. If she beats the Dutchwoman Willy Kanis she is then likely to meet China's Guo Shuang, who would have the vociferous home crowd behind her.

Rebecca Romero was unable to repeat her gold medal performance of the previous day and finished 11th in the points race, won by Marianne Vos, of the Netherlands. Romero, who had only ridden the event once before, made several attempt to break away from the pack to gain a lap but was pulled back into the pack every time. If Britons win medals in all three events tomorrow, the women's points race will be the only one in which they failed to finish on the podium.

A model of a Neanderthal man on display at the National Museum of Prehistory in Dordogne, France
Richard Dawkins dedicated his book 'The Greatest Show on Earth' to Josh Timonen
newsThat's Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome
Arts and Entertainment
Eye of the beholder? 'Concrete lasagne' Preston bus station
architectureWhich monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Dinosaurs Unleashed at the Eden Project
Arts and Entertainment
Life and Style
This month marks the 20th anniversary of the first online sale
techDespite a host of other online auction sites and fierce competition from Amazon, eBay is still the most popular e-commerce site in the UK
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

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

Day In a Page

Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home