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Monday, August 18, 2008

GB storm to gold in team pursuit

Great Britain's men's pursuit team destroyed Denmark to win the gold medal in a new world record time of three minutes, 53.314 seconds.

Bradley Wiggins, Paul Manning, Geraint Thomas and Ed Clancy produced a superb ride to break their own 4000m record and beat the Danes by 6.7 seconds.

It secured Wiggins his second gold medal of the Beijing Games and Britain their 11th cycling medal.

Team GB have now reclaimed third place in the medal table from Australia.

They have won nine medals on the track, five of them being gold, and there are further hopes with Chris Hoy and Jason Kenny contesting the men's sprint, Victoria Pendleton the women's sprint and Wiggins and Mark Cavendish the Madison.

The British quartet, who were beaten by the Australians in the 2004 Athens Games, were racing Denmark in a repeat of the 2008 World Championship final.

But the result was never in doubt and, having led from start to finish, Wiggins, Manning, Thomas and Clancy came preciously close to catching Michael Moerkoev, Casper Joergensen, Jens-Erik Madsen and Alex Nicki Rasmussen.

Denmark reached the final with victory over France in a time of three minutes, 56.831 seconds, while Britain beat Russia in a world record time of 3:55.202, but the gulf in class was far greater in the 16-lap final.

"We were just rattling around, it was so smooth, it felt easy to be honest," Thomas told BBC Sport.

"We knew it was fast but 3:53.314… we just can't believe it. That's going to go down in history, that time won't be broken in a long time, we're the best team in the world."

Wiggins, who has now won five medals in three Olympics, added: "It was phenomenal. Yesterday I was pretty down after the first couple of rounds because I wasn't my normal self and didn't want to let these guys down.

"To put it in perspective, that was 11 seconds faster than the Olympic record we set in Sydney eight years ago.

"I know how much these guys have sacrificed for this one event - it's just fantastic to be part of this team. We've come a long way in four years.

"I've still got one to go with Cav, he's raring to go and hopefully we'll do it. I'm back to my normal self and I've trained for this so we'll give it a good shot."

Courtesy : BBC



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