Great Britain are guaranteed their first medal of the 2016 UCI Track World Championships in London tonight as they meet Australia in the final of the men’s team pursuit in a repeat of the gold medal race at London 2012 – and there could be a new World Record on the cards.
The fastest time ever achieved in the four-kilometre event, covering 16 laps of the velodrome, was set at the same venue at Lee Valley VeloPark in that Olympic final by Ed Clancy, Geraint Thomas, Steven Burke and Peter Kennaugh, with a time of 3:52:499.
Of that quartet, only Clancy, recovered from a career threatening back injury, will race tonight – and he’ll be joined by former world and Olympic champion in the event Sir Bradley Wiggins, as well as Owain Doull and Jon Dibben.
Dibben and Doull missed the semi-final against Italy, when Burke and Andy Tennant – one of five men in the squad at London 2012, but who didn’t receive a medal since he didn’t ride in any of the rounds – rode.
The Australian quartet that beat reigning world champions New Zealand in their semi-final earlier today included one rider from that London 2012 final, Michael Hepburn, who rode today's semifinal alongside Sam Welsford, Callum Scotson and Luke Davison.
Great Britain were on world record pace for much of this afternoon's race against Italy , easing off the gas to finish in 3:54.267. Australia were pushed most of the way by New Zealand, who faded in the final kilometre, and clocked a time of 3:54.029.
In the ‘Ashes’ of team pursuiting, the two countries will be all out this evening, and there’s every likelihood the record will go.
There’s live coverage now on BBC Two and Eurosport, with the race completing tonight’s programme – tune in now, or make sure you are watching it from around 8.30pm.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.