Track Worlds: GB women beat Australia to team pursuit gold

UCI World Track Cycling Championships 2012

  • Venue: Hisense Arena, Melbourne
  • Date: 4-8 April 2012

Great Britain's Joanna Rowsell, Dani King and Laura Trott smashed the team pursuit world record twice in one day as they defeated Australia for gold at the Track Cycling World Championships.

Both teams broke the record in qualifying but GB won the final in a record three minutes 15.720 seconds.

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A lot of the Australians were commenting after the World Cup in February that we had home support, but they had that here and we still beat them

Joanna Rowsell

"I don't know how we did that," said King. "We rode a perfect race."

Thursday's victory echoed the GB men's achievement in defeating Australia for gold with a world record a day earlier.

Britain's women were more than a second off the hosts' pace for large parts of the final in front of a passionate Australian crowd, but ate up the gap in a blistering final kilometre to successfully defend their world title.

"It gives a really strong message that they've got to beat us now. We've not lost a competition since February last year and it's going to be our track," said Trott.

The British time shaved almost 2.5secs off the world record the same trio set just two months ago at the Track World Cup inside London's Olympic Velodrome.

"At the beginning of the race they were up on us quite a lot. Paul [Manning, their coach] was pulling us forward to go faster and we just dug in," King told BBC Sport.

"We did a consistent ride and kept the speed going all the way to the end, which I think is our winning strategy."

Analysis

Seeing Britain win the world title here and break two world records doesn't surprise me. Competition for places breeds success: when you leave a rider of Wendy Houvenaghel's class out of the team, you know you've got something very special, and this team gels so well.

Even their qualification ride was exceptionally consistent and, without wanting to be too technical, the splits show it was the perfect ride. All they can do now is do that again, but faster. It was such a professional piece of bike riding.

Rowsell said: "A lot of the Australians were commenting after the World Cup in February that we had home support, but they had that here and we still beat them.

"It was such an inspiration seeing the men win yesterday and break their world record. We knew the track was fast, we were determined to go out and win as well.

"In London we went out fast and came off a bit towards the end. We decided to go out steadier today and it paid off."

British Cycling's performance director Dave Brailsford said it would be "futile" to start rating the quartet's Olympics chances.

"It's dangerous to start predicting forward," he told BBC Radio 5 live.

"You start thinking about the outcome before you think about the progress. Our job is to stop now and think what we can do in order to progress forward and be the best we can when we get to London.

"Once you start engaging in 'what happens when we win, lose' then it's actually a futile exercise."

New world bests have now been set in four events with some records broken on multiple occasions, a quick Hisense Arena track and Melbourne's April heat helping fast times.

Australia's Anna Meares earlier broke the 200m time trial world record in the first qualifying session of the women's sprint - a warning for Britain's Olympic champion Victoria Pendleton, who narrowly made it through to Friday's sprint semi-finals alongside Meares, while GB team-mate Jess Varnish was knocked out.

Steven Burke finished 10th for Great Britain in the men's kilo time trial, formerly an Olympic event, posting a time of 1:02.180 to eventual winner Stefan Nimke's 1:00.082.