The British women’s team pursuit squad broke the world record in qualifying today, putting themselves in to the gold medal final against Australia tonight.
It sets up another mouth watering Great Britain versus Australia team pursuit final, and if it’s anything like the men’s event last night the crowd is in for a treat.
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The ride came just ten minutes after the Australian team had themselves broken the world record set by GB in London this February. Canada had also qualified in a fast time so GB knew they had to produce a fast time to win.
Mindful of their London ride when Jo Rowsell went out too fast in their qualifying ride, the trio set off steadily, and after one kilometre were well over a second down on the split times of Australia. But their coach Paul Manning was stood on the finish line, meaning they were on their pre-planned schedule.
As the laps ticked by, the time gaps to the Australian’s world record time started to come down. As the difference between the splits became less and less the crowds gasps became louder and louder.
With one lap to go there was just two tenths of a second in it, and the GB team were on a charge. Jo Rowsell, Laura Trott and Dani King then flashed over the line to stop the clock at 3 minutes 16.850 seconds, two tenths of a second faster than the Australians.
“We were prepared for that. We stuck to our game plan and really controlled [the] ride. ” British Cycling’s head coach Shane Sutton said. “There’s nothing in it. The Aussies have stepped up to the plate there.”
“Tonight we’re going to have another think, because tonight’s not records, it’s about winning, it’s about racing. ” He said. “We’re going to go out there and race, put them under pressure, probably try to get onto them a little bit quicker and see whether we can expose them.”
“Tonight it’s going to be a [three minutes] 15 ride to win. We set an outcome goal of that quite a long time ago.”
Earlier today, Anna Meares broke the 200m world record in women’s sprint qualification and in all six world records set in just one and a half days of racing. Another must be on the cards tonight as the Great Britain versus Australia battle continues in the women’s team pursuit.