World Track Championhips 2010: Team GB men's pursuit team pipped to gold by Australia

Pendleton beats Varnish to cruise through to the sprint semis

by Dave Atkinson   March 26, 2010  

Team GB were pushed into silver place in the men's team pursuit in the Ballerup arena tonight but the young British squad showed great promise and set the fastest qualifying time, only losing out by 0.152 seconds in the final shakeup to an even younger Australian quartet.

At the halfway point Team GB's Ed Clancy, Ben Swift, Steven Burke and Andy Tennant were three quarters of a second down to the Australians, who had drafted in Cameron Meyer to bring more firepower to their young squad for the final and they set a new record for the first kilometre of a team pursuit. With four laps to go the gap was fairly constant but Australia lost Rohan Dennis and showed great determination to stay ahead of a charging team GB squad as the gap closed over the last 750m, setting the fourth fastest time in pursuit history in the process.

Afterwards, Ben Swift said: "I don't think we were unlucky, we just raced behind a fantastic team in the Aussies. For us not to win the worlds in 3:55 is saying something about the competition. It's still a while to the 2012 Olympics which is our ultimate goal, and to be knocking out times like this is pretty good. Everybody gave it their all." Whilst it's disappointing to lose out again to the Australians (again) this year, it promises to be a fantastic battle over the next two years to see which team matures into an Olympic winning outfit - even now, that race looks likely to be a rerun of this one.

Victoria Pendleton cruised through the sprint heats and took the best-of-three quarter final against Victoria Baranova (RUS) 2-0. Becky Savage and Jess Varnish both fell in the first round, Varnish losing out to Pendleton. In the Men's Kilo Teun Mulder (NED) destroyed the field with a time of 1:00.341, leaving Michael D'Almeida (FRA) and Francois Pervis (FRA) to pick up the minor medals.