Despite losing a rider late in the race, Australia won the men’s team pursuit gold ahead of Britain at the world track cycling championships Friday.
New Zealand dominated hosts Denmark in the ride for the bronze.
Britain’s quartet Ed Clancy, Steven Burke, Andy Tennant and Ben Swift had set the fastest time in qualiying earlier in the day in a time of 3min 56.869sec. However despite a late fightback at the 3km mark, just as Australia lost one of its riders, the world record holders and Olympic champions were unable to claw back an early deficit to Australia.
In the end Australia set a winning time of 3:55.654sec to pip Britain to the gold by two tenths. Britain set a time of 3:55.806.
Brits tops in qualifiersAustralia narrowly edged New Zealand in qualifying for the men’s team pursuit gold medal ride-off and will now meet Britain later Friday at the world track cycling championships.
British quartet Ed Clancy, Steven Burke, Andy Tennant and Ben Swift were fourth from last of the 17-strong field to start the 16-lap race and set a fastest qualifying time of 3:56.869.
New Zealand were on their way to beating that time but suffered a setback when they lost Sam Bewley with just under three laps to race, and they finished in a time of 3:58.616.
Australia failed to put any of its pursuiters into the individual final on Thursday, but made amends by qualifying second fastest in a time of 3:58.185.
Defending champions Denmark got the home crowd on their toes, but after losing one of their two new team members, Niki Byrgysen, with over four laps to go their task was always going to be difficult.
Nevertheless the hosts’ battled on as a trio to post 4:02.259, a time that was good enough for a bronze medal match with New Zealand.
After two full days of competition Australia leads the medals table with four gold from eight events, while Britain have one, from Chris Hoy in the keirin.
The world record for the 4km team pursuit is 3:53.314, set by Britain at the Beijing Olympics in August 2008.