British National 4,000m Team Pursuit

IMPROVING their technique in each of their three rides, the Linda McCartney RT quartet of Matt Illingworth, Chris Newton, Dean Downing and 'rookie' pursuiter Julian Winn took the gold from a poor entry of just five teams.

The only ride they completed was in the qualifying round when, after a ragged start, they lost Winn at half distance on their way to a time of 4-24.522 with Illingworth and Newton doing extended turns at the front.

Their semi-final against Scunthorpe Polytechnic CC lasted just six laps, and although they trailed VC St Raphael for the first kilometre of the final - a 1-08.441 split the fastest of the competition - Jon Cannings, who came in for Mark Whittaker, swung up at that point to leave the opposition down to three.

The McCartneys were nearly two seconds up at halfway in 2-11.647 and a third kilometre in 1-02.481 ended the contest.

Edinburgh, with just four available riders, had to ride the semi-final against Raphael one short. Nicky Hall was busy sorting things out with the police and insurance people after his girlfriend's car was stolen from outside their accommodation that morning.

Their deficit was only three10ths of a second after four laps and Raphael lost Whittaker after seven laps, but the effort was too much and, when the Edinburgh trio broke up on the 11th lap, the race was ended.

Hall was back in time for the third-place match against Scunthorpe, and after trailing for four laps Edinburgh pulled away to win a medal for the sixth straight year. The final threw up a future quiz poser with the Downing brothers, Russ and Dean, in opposing teams.

1. Linda McCartney RT 4 24.522
2. City of Edinburgh RT 4 30.197
3. VC St Raphael 4-32.921
4. Scunthorpe Poly CC 4-40.507
5. Cleveland Wh 4-50.533.

VC St Raphael bt City of Edinburgh RT (dnf)
Linda McCartney RT ct Scunthorpe Poly CC in 1-41.442
3rd place.- City of Edinburgh RT (Nicky Hall, Craig MacLean, Derek Smith, James Taylor) ct Scunthorpe Poly CC (Chris Richardson, Jason Benham, Gary Lang, Patrick Tighe) in 3-55.756

Linda McCartney RT (Russ Downing, Matt Illingworth, Chris Newton, Julian Winn) ct VC St Raphael (Neil Campbell, Jon Cannings, Dean Downing, Andrew Russell) in 3-44.018.