Geraint Thomas expects Great Britain’s men’s team pursuit world record to be bettered at the London Games and warned that their victory over Australia at the UCI Track World Championships will count for nothing in August.
The 26-year-old was part of the quartet - with Ed Clancy, Peter Kennaugh and Steven Burke - which broke the world record in Melbourne back in April against the home nation with a time of 3:53.295.
That victory avenged a reverse result in February’s Olympic test event, the London leg of the UCI Track World Cup, where the Australian team of Jack Bobridge, Rohan Dennis, Alexander Edmondson and Michael Hepburn won by over a second.
Thomas, a gold medallist in the event in Beijing, has been fully dedicated to defending the title since finishing his season on the road with May’s Giro d’Italia. Despite being world champions and picking up the accolade on Australian soil, the Welshman thinks too much time has passed for it to have any effect on proceedings in the Olympic Velodrome.
“Not really, there is such a long time in between that a lot can happen – injuries, illness and different training and things,” Thomas replied when asked about any potential gains from winning the world championships.
“Myself, personally, everything has been going great so far. The Giro went really well, I came out of that feeling strong which was the plan, this is the final block.”
Along with the rest of the Team GB track cycling squad, Thomas is currently at the Newport velodrome, with the men’s team pursuit set to begin on Thursday 2 August with qualifying and concluding the following day with round one and the medal finals.
After breaking a world record that had been in place since the Beijing Olympics - when Thomas along with Ed Clancy, Bradley Wiggins and Paul Manning won gold - the Team Sky rider expects the record to fall again over the two days in London.
“I think we will [go faster than the current WR] and the Aussies will,” Thomas said.
“We are just looking to keep going faster all the time and we are confident we can step up and go knock a chunk off that again. We could’ve gone faster in Melbourne. I think it’s taking that on board, learning from that and then physically we can make that little step again.
“Being on the track for six weeks [is an advantage] rather than before the worlds when I was on the track for three weeks and before the London World Cup it was two. It’s similar to pre-Beijing really - it’s that chunk now where you can really make that gain. You were always chasing it for the worlds when you have only got three weeks coming off Paris-Nice. It’s only the last five days when you’re say are back to it.
“Hard work and hard racing definitely works for me and really moves me on physically, I just felt I needed that big race [The Giro] to really get me into top shape so hopefully that will be a similar story.”