Denmark break pursuit world record again as GB take silver in sprint at Track World Championships 2020

A mixed opening day of racing for the British squad as Laura Kenny took fourth in her event

(Image credit: AFP via Getty Images)

The team pursuit bar was raised once again at the 2020 Track World Championships, as Denmark set a second world record in one day.

After qualifying with a new fastest time earlier in the day on Wednesday (February 26), the Danes came out swinging in the first round of the team pursuit with a new record of 3-46.203, almost two seconds faster than the record set in 2019.

Earlier in the day, the Denmark team pursuit unit of Lasse Norman Hansen, Julius Johansen, Frederik Rodenberg and Rasmus Pedersen covered the 4,000 metres in a staggering 3-46.579, smashing the previous world record set by the Australian squad in the World Championships in Poland last year, 3-48.012.

They still have the finals to come on Thursday, as they look the clear favourites to take gold.

It was a mixed day for the British squad, as the team sprint unit powered their way to a silver medal, behind the world record setting Dutch squad.

The first GB medal of the 2020 Worlds went to Ryan Owens, Jack Carlin and Jason Kenny, who set a British record outside of the Olympics and took silver behind a truly dominant Dutch squad.

After claiming the medal, Kenny said: “We maximised what we had, we were technically pretty good, fairly consistent so I’m really happy. It’s a nice step forward.

“We’ve had a good year and we’ve saved our best for the World Championships, which is good as it doesn’t always work out like that.

“It’s been a well-structured year, it’s gone well and it’s peaked here today.”

Kenny and his team-mates set a qualifying time of 42.471 then went faster in the finals with a time of 42.294.

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But they were up against a blistering Dutch team, who set a new world record of 41.225 and took gold.

But in the team pursuit, the British men looked to be off the pace of their rivals, as they will have to settle for fifth place and will miss out on a Worlds medal.

Laura Kenny put in a strong performance on the opening night of racing, taking fourth in the scratch race and looking unphased by her broken shoulder.It was Dutch rider Kirsten Wild who took the rainbow jersey in the scratch race.

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Alex Ballinger

Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.  Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.