Geraint Thomas and Team GB claim the World Title for Men's Team Pursuit at the Track World Championships in Australia.
Thomas, along with Ed Clancy, Peter Kennaugh and Steven Burke faced Australia in the Gold medal final, but won with a time of 3:53.295, also claiming a new world record.
Ed Clancy leads the GB Team Pursuit quartet in qualifying (image: Guy Swarbrick)
Thomas, currently concentrating on the track ahead of the London Olympcs, tweeted shortly after "That definitely makes up for missing Flanders and Roubaix!! What a day!! Now onto the next phase..."
Geraint Thomas will also compete in the Madison event and Individual Pursuit.
MEN'S TEAM PURSUIT
GB won one of the closest and most exciting Team Pursuit finals of all time to take the gold medal from Australia with a new world record of 3.53.295 (the old mark was 3:53.314), just over a tenth of a second clear of their rivals' 3.53.401.
There was a slightly slower start than in qualifying from the Aussies and after the first kilometre GB led by over 3 tenths of a second. The Aussies then got into their stride and the teams were absolutely together at the 2 kilometre mark.
Big turns by Geraint Thomas and Peter Kennaugh re-established GB’s lead in the third quarter of the race and with just 3 laps to go they seemed to have the race in the bag with a 0.7 second margin. However, Australia fought back yet again and were closing throughout the final couple of laps and with both teams looking ragged and down to three men, it was only as Ed Clancy crossed the line in third place that GB knew for certain that they had the gold medal.
Clancy had earlier done a huge opening turn of almost 2 laps and it came as no surprise to see him hanging on grimly in the final few metres. A breathless Chris Boardman speaking on the BBC said “Both teams were on the limit, cracks appearing right, left and centre. But GB just held it together!”
In the ride off for bronze, Russia moved into a strong position mid race, almost 1.4 seconds clear, but the New Zealanders came back at them snatching the bronze in the final kilometre after a well-judged ride, recording an impressive 3.57.592.
Speaking after the final, Ed Clancy said: “It’s good news for us – even if we’d lost today we’d still have been happy with the progress we have made. That record’s been around long enough. This is a good place to take it down. We’ve just had a little debrief and I didn’t realise it was so close between us and the Australian team.”
1 GBR Great Britain 3:53.295 (CLANCY Edward, BURKE Steven, KENNAUGH Peter, THOMAS Geraint)
2 AUS Australia 3:53.401 (O'SHEA Glenn, BOBRIDGE Jack, DENNIS Rohan, HEPBURN Michael)
3 NZL New Zealand 3:57.592
4 RUS Russia 3:59.237 60.191
Earlier, Great Britain qualified fastest going through to the evening's gold medal final against Australia, with the bronze medal final to be contested by New Zealand and Russia.
New Zealand was the first team to record the first sub-four minute time with 3:59.156.
The GB quartet of Ed Clancy, Peter Kennaugh, Andy Tennant and Geraint Thomas then put down a really strong time of 3:54.485, just over a second outside their Beijing world record of 3:53.314. The Russians could not match this and went third behind New Zealand.
Last up, Australia, the favourites, then went out and started at world record pace, before slowing in the final kilometre to record 3:54.654, putting them in the final against Great Britain. Great Britain's time is the fastest ever recorded on Australian soil and the third fastest ever and sets up a mouth-watering final. GB brought in Steven Burke for Andy Tennant for the final ride.
Men's Team Pursuit Qualification
1 GBR Great Britain 3:54.485
2 AUS Australia 3:54.654
3 NZL New Zealand 3:59.156
4 RUS Russia 3:59.290
5 ESP Spain 4:01.717
6 BEL Belgium 4:02.317
7 DEN Denmark 4:03.237
8 NED Netherlands 4:04.489
9 GER Germany 4:05.078
10 KOR Korea 4:06.970
11 SUI Switzerland 4:09.200
12 CHI Chile 4:10.249
13 UKR Ukraine 4:10.943
14 HKG Hong Kong 4:11.886
15 KAZ Kazakhstan 4:13.145
Go to British Cycling's 2012 UCI Track World Championships Home Page for the latest news and results.