World Cup Team Pursuit (Sydney)
Courtesy of Cyclingnews.com
Team Pursuit: Great Britain delivers
After setting the fastest time in qualifying this afternoon with a team that had never ridden together before, Great Britain came out again this evening to again show why they are the world's number one at the moment in this discipline, by clocking the fastest time once again to take out the final against New Zealand.
Like clockwork, the team produced consistent kilometre times that saw them almost in the same straight as New Zealand by the time the finishing gun fired.
"4:01 with this team with no particular preparation is pleasing this time of year," Britain's high performance manager Dave Brailsford told Cyclingnews shortly after they finished.
Bradley Wiggins was also happy but felt they have a lot more in them. "I wasn't brilliant, but it felt controlled really, we were all pretty flat out towards the end. We are all in different phases, I arrived here on Thursday morning after doing Gent Six Day, Chris Newton just came out as well and a couple of the guys were in Perth training," he said.
"It was nice to come together like that for the first time and put two rides together like that," Wiggins continued.
The winning team only came together two days ago and have had little time together on the track, "We did a standing two km in the afternoon [Thursday] on race pace, it was the only sort of preparation we had really," Wiggins said.
For the bronze medal ride-off, The Australian Toshiba team showed the huge crowd that Australia has plenty of depth of talent for the Beijing Olympics. The young squad went a further three seconds faster than their qualifying time to claim the final podium place. The time of 4.03.248 would have secured the silver medal should they have qualified just four hundredths of a second faster.
"Today I think we have shown that we are real contenders to be at the Olympics and not just ride for Australia, but contend for medals," Zac Dempster said after receiving his medal.
With so many Australian riders vying for a place on the teams pursuit squad, each riders will be under considerable pressure to prove they are worthy for their spot. Something Coach Ian McKenzie doesn't consider a bad thing. "Pressure builds diamonds," he said.
With the Kiwis holding first spot; the Australian Team Toshiba second, all eyes were then turned to the highly favored Great Britain team, last to ride off, to see what time current World Champions Bradley Wiggins and Edward Clancy; and team mates Stephen Cummings and Chris Newton, would produce. It was worth the wait.
The Brits rode a dignified race to qualify fastest in 4.04.160.
"We came here, we are not 100% prepared, Chris Newton just got off the plane. Its his first team pursuit for a couple of years. Bradley [Wiggins] just got off the plane. It's the first time that the lads have ridden together; they haven't actually trained together at all. We are pleased to qualify fastest, that was the aim, it was achieved, so we will just build on that for the final," Britain's high performance manager, Dave Brailsford said of the ride.
Tonight's finals will therefore pit Great Britain against New Zealand for the gold and silver and Team Toshiba against the Netherlands, who qualified in 4.07.078, for the bronze.
The Russians - winners at the last two Sydney World Cups - won't figure in the medals in the ride-offs tonight. The team of Mikhail Ignatiev, Alexei Markov, Alexander Serov and Nikolay Trusov, qualified fifth in 4.07.693.
1 Great Britain 4.04.160 (58.977 km/h)