Olympics homepage>>

The British team pursuit squad smashed their own world record tonight, setting a new mark of 3-55.205 minutes as they punched their way in to the gold medal final tomorrow night.

If they repeat that ride, or better it, it will surely bring gold number six to the British cyclists, a unthinkable achievement before this competition began, even by their very own high standards. The quartet of Ed Clancy, Geraint Thomas, Paul Manning and Bradley Wiggins got on the track knowing they had to set a fast time as at long long last the other nations had come out and put some pressure on them.

In the morning’s qualifying round New Zealand were the only other team other than the Brits to beat the four minute mark, and it looked as if the event was going to turn in to a foregone conclusion. But then the Danes, the team that pushed the Brits to their world record in Manchester, got up and posted a time of 3-56.831 minutes.

When New Zealand did a 3-57.536 there was a little bit of pressure landing on the Brits, but it looks like that’s exactly what they needed. They had their opponents Russia in sight within two kilometres, as the record was always on.

Wiggins swung up with a little under a kilometre to go but the remaining three had it all under control as they hit that magic number of 3-55, one they’ve had as a target since the Athens Games. They nearly bypassed the number altogether and went straight to 3-54, a figure that’s easily in reach considering it wasn’t particularly warm inside the Laoshan velodrome and the track’s tight bankings aren’t best suited to pursuiting.

Great Britain will ride for gold against the Danes tomorrow afternoon, while they’re old foes Australia will only ride for gold after losing their form in the last lap of their ride to post 3-58.633. THeirs was the slowest time, making this the first time that all four finalists rode under the four minute mark in one competition.

Team pursuit world record Olympics 2008The flying British quartet stop the clock a whole second faster than their previous best. They could go even faster tomorrow night if the conditions are right. photo: Graham Watson

Team pursuit world record Olympics 2008Nothing much to say about this one, just thought you’d like to see this cracking picture. Photo: Graham Watson

OLYMPIC GAMES 2008: TRACK

Day two in pictures

Sunday’s action as it happened

Preview: Sunday at the Laoshan

Day two at the track: Summary of the action

Hoy and Edgar clean up in the Keirin

Wiggins gets pursuit gold, Burke wins bronze

Newton storms to bronze in points race

Saturday’s action as it happened: Two gold, a silver and two bronze for Britain

Blog: Life in Laoshan

Day one in pictures

Brits blast to team sprint gold

Day one at the track: Summary of the action

Friday’s action as it happened: Gold for team sprint trio; Wiggins, Houvenaghel and Romero well in control

Burke blasts to new individual pursuit PB

British track stars raring to go

What makes the Laoshan such a challenge

Picture special: CW takes you inside the Laoshan velodrome

Saturday’s preview

Friday’s preview

Can these legs make an Olympic champion?

Cavendish unlikely to ride individual pursuit

How many medals will Britain’s riders win?

OLYMPIC GAMES 2008: NEWS

Positive test for cyclist at Olympic Games

Bettini chasing second Olympic gold

Romero poses nude for ad

British quartet eyeing new world record

As Olympics approach two new drugs emerge

Beijing Blog

Beijing Blog 2

Beijing Blog 3

OLYMPIC GAMES 2008: ROAD

Picture special: Women’s time trial

Cancellara wins men’s time trial gold

Men’s time trial reaction: Steve Cummings on his ride

Women’s time trial reaction: I feel fantastic, says Pooley

Pooley wins silver in women’s time trial

Cooke’s secret was the skinsuit

What the papers say… about Nicole Cooke

Analysis: women’s road race

Gold for Nicole Cooke in Women?s road race

Reaction: It?s a dream to win Gold, says Cooke

Women’s Olympic road race picture special

Sanchez gives Spain gold in thrilling men?s road race

Who is Samuel Sanchez?

Tactical analysis: Reading the men?s Olympic road race

British riders suffer in hot and humid Olympic road race

Rebellin misses out on golden birthday

Brailsford confident ahead of women?s road race

OLYMPIC GAMES 2008: GUIDE

Olympic Games 2008 homepage>>

Olympics: latest news>>

Olympics cycling results>>

Cycling event schedule>>

Great Britain rider profiles>>

Cycling event guide>>

Photo gallery>>

Every British cycling medal ever won at the Olympic Games

From paupers to kings: The lottery funded revolution>>

Track results at the Worlds and Olympics 2004-2008