Olympics cycling: Team GB defend men's pursuit title

 

Team GB shattered their own world record as they defended the men's Olympic pursuit title to win Friday's second gold medal for Britain.

Team GB regain their mojo

"For several years it looked as though Team GB's track cyclists had lost the air of invincibility they had in Beijing - but after two days of the London 2012 track programme it seems Britain's Olympic medal factory might be about to break all productivity records"

The quartet of Ed Clancy, Geraint Thomas, Steven Burke and Peter Kennaugh clocked three minutes 51.659 seconds to knock nearly a second off the world record they set in qualifying.

Australia finished with silver, nearly three seconds behind Team GB.

New Zealand took the bronze medal, beating Russia by over two seconds.

"It is amazing," said Kennagh. "It is a team event, but we have to take our hats off to Ed Clancy and Steven Burke. They rode amazingly."

Half an hour after the men's pursuit victory Victoria Pendleton secured Britain's eighth gold of the Games - and the third on Friday - with a thrilling win in the women's keirin.

Katherine Grainger and Anna Watkins had earned the hosts' first gold of the day when they powered to victory in the women's double sculls at Eton Dorney.

Before their cycling pursuit win in Beijing in 2008 Britain's men had not won a gold medal in team pursuit since the first modern Olympics in London 100 years earlier.

They have now won two successive golds, after dominating the 4km, 16-lap race from start to finish.

Britain broke their own world record in qualifying on Thursday, and stormed through Friday's first round with the fastest time, too.

Roared on by a capacity crowd, including Tour de France winner and road-race gold medallist Bradley Wiggins - who was part of the successful quartet four years ago - they put in another superb ride.

GB duo's delight at team pursuit gold

Britain were never behind but, in the second quarter of the race, Australia's quartet of Jack Bobridge, Glenn O'Shea, Rohan Dennis and Michael Hepburn looked to be closing in.

The noise in the 6,000-capacity velodrome was deafening as Britain responded to clinch their second gold medal on the London track, following their victory in the men's team sprint on Thursday.

Another gold could follow in the women's team pursuit with the GB trio of Dani King, Laura Trott and Joanna Rowsell also looking in top form.

The reigning world champions qualified fastest ahead of the first round of their 3km 12-lap event on Saturday, breaking their own world record.

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