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It has stood since August 22, 2004. Australia's time of 3-56.610 for the 4,000 metres team pursuit won them the Olympic Games title and a place in the record books.

Tonight in Manchester, the reigning world champions, Great Britain, took that place in the record books with a stunning time of 3-56.322.

Step forward and take a bow Ed Clancy, Paul Manning, Bradley Wiggins and Geraint Thomas - the men who made the new mark.

Chris Boardman said yesterday the world record was under threat and the conditions in the velodrome have been warm and humid all day. Perfect for fast times.

And Britain, given a little bit of a scare by the Danes in qualifying, came firing out of the blocks and were always on top. Up by half a second after 1,000 metres, they'd doubled that gap by 2,000 metres.

By 3,000 metres the British pace had cracked Denmark and they were on course for the world record.

At the line Bradley Wiggins was already celebrating and the noise was intense.

When the scoreboard flashed up the words 'New World Record' the volume lifted to a roar.

For Wiggins it was a second gold of the championships after he won the individual pursuit yesterday. For Paul Manning it was the ninth year in a row that he's won a medal at the Worlds as part of the GB team pursuit squad. And now he has a world record too.

"I was just happy to win regardless of the time. There were three of them in front of me and they stopped the clock,? Wiggins said.

?It was a huge relief, yesterday and today we?ve been on the back foot going into the final and it?s just nice to come out like that and do it.?

Can the British quartet go even faster than 3:56.322?

?The big aim is always the Olympics,? Wiggins said.

?We prepared well for this but we?ve been affected by a couple of illness in the last six weeks which kind of put to bed the thought of doing a world record here so I do believe we can go faster.?

Wiggins was especially pleased to win in Manchester and share it with the other team pursuit riders.

?It?s phenomenal. It?s one of them great occasions and to share it with the boys is special. When you do it on your own it?s great but when you do it in a group with the lads, when you?ve spend so many hours training together, smashing our legs in training camps and coming in here at six am, to finish it off by doing a time like that makes it all worthwhile.?

?A couple of the lads had colds and I was ill, I was on my death bead about five weeks ago but I soon recovered. I?m fine now and my form has just got better and better.?

Wiggins revealed he was never really worried about the Danish quartet even after their impressive time in qualifying.

?It was a bit of surprise to us, we didn?t think they?d go that fast but everyone raised their games for the Olympics this year. We just knew we had a faster ride in his, whether they knew they had a faster ride I don?t know,? he said.

Wiggins has now won two world titles in the individual and team pursuit. To complete a hat trick of titles he needs to win Saturday?s Madison but he knows that will be a more open and so difficult race.

?It?s just a lottery and Mark?s not been feeling great since Tirreno-Adriatico, so we?ll see what happens. There?s a chance for everyone because it?s such a lottery but we?ve got nothing to lose. We?ll just get stuck into as we always do.?


Sunday, day five>>

Saturday, day four>>

Friday, day three>>

Thursday, day two>>

Wednesday, day one>>


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Day three in pictures

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Sports journalist Lionel Birnie has written professionally for Sunday Times, Procycling and of course Cycling Weekly. He is also an author, publisher, and co-founder of The Cycling Podcast. His first experience covering the Tour de France came in 1999, and he has presented The Cycling Podcast with Richard Moore and Daniel Friebe since 2013. He founded Peloton Publishing in 2010 and has ghostwritten and published the autobiography of Sean Kelly, as well as a number of other sports icons.