Denmark set new men’s team pursuit world record in qualifying as GB struggle at Track World Championships 2020

But the women's GB squad are looking good just a few months out from the Olympics

(Image credit: Sebastian Gollnow/dpa)

Denmark kicked off the 2020 Track World Championships with a new men’s team pursuit world record in qualifying.

The men’s GB squad struggled to perform against their rivals in Berlin on Wednesday (February 26), qualifying for the finals in seventh place, three seconds slower than Denmark.

But the women’s team showed much more promise, comfortably qualifying for the next round in second place behind the USA.

The Danish four rider team of Lasse Norman Hansen, Julius Johansen, Frederik Rodenberg and Rasmus Pedersen covered the 4,000 metres in a blistering 3-46.579, smashing the previous world record set by the Australian squad in the World Championship in Poland last year, 3-48.012.

Brits Ed Clancy, Ethan Hayter, Charlie Tanfield and Ollie Wood made it through to the next round, but their time of 3-50.341 excludes them from the gold medal contest – the best they can now achieve is a bronze model.

The men will now face Germany on Wednesday evening for the first round, before the finals on Thursday evening.

Last year in the worlds, the men’s GB team took silver in the team pursuit behind the Australians, while Denmark took the bronze position.

There were more encouraging signs for the women’s GB team pursuit squad, who put in a time of 4-11.871 and finished .6 of a second behind first place USA.

GB will face off against Canada in their first round on Thursday before the finals are settled on Friday.

>>> Australian team unveil striking new track bikes to take on Team GB at Tokyo 2020 Olympics 

In 2019, Elinor Barker, Katie Archibald, Eleanor Dickinson and Laura Kenny also missed out to the Australians.

This year the team, with Neah Evans stepping in for Laura Kenny, will hope to beat their familiar rivals with the Olympics just a few months away.

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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.