The British women clocked the fastest time in qualifying for the team pursuit here in Manchester this afternoon, putting them in the gold medal final tonight.

The trio of Rebecca Romero, Joanna Rowsell and Wendy Houvenaghel stopped the clock at 3:25.725 to set a new worlds fastest time. They will face the Ukrainians in the final to contest the first ever women’s team pursuit world title.

The race is set to be a close one as the Ukraines clocked 3:26.565, less than a second slower than the Brits.

Warming down afterwards Rebecca Romero said: “This is our first three-kilometre race together and we’ve only had a couple of weeks’ practice so to go out and qualify fastest was good.

“I think in the final we can go out even better than that. I didn’t know how I’d get on after yesterday [she won the individual pursuit gold] but I felt really good. I’ve only done two rides [per meeting] in World Cups before so I’m feeling really good.

“Ukraine in the final is what we expected and we’ll give them a good race.”

2008 TRACK WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: DAILY REPORTS

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