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.
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.