Great Britain women's team pursuiters set new world record in Rio Olympics qualifying

Elinor Barker, Laura Trott, Joanna Rowsell-Shand and Katie Archibald set a new world record and qualify fastest in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games women's team pursuit

(Image credit: Watson)

Britain’s women’s team pursuit quartet set a new world record to qualify fastest with a 4.13.260 minute ride at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games on Thursday.

The ride put them ahead of world champions USA with a one-second buffer, while the Australians - who suffered a serious crash in training just days ago - were in third almost six seconds slower.

The British quartet of Elinor Barker, Laura Trott, Joanna Rowsell-Shand and Katie Archibald rode a technically clean four kilometres while the Americans, who are likely to be their main rivals for the title, looked fast but ragged.

>>> Rio 2016 Olympic Games: Latest news, reports and info

World champions USA will be closer to the Brits in tomorrow’s rounds if they can clean up their changes and perhaps start a little slower. They were almost 1.5 seconds up on the Brits after less than a kilometre, but their speed dropped off rapidly when they lost a rider in the final kilometre.

The world record, set in not particularly fast conditions on a brand new track, came just minutes after the British team sprint trio set an Olympic record to qualify fastest in their event.

A 4.13 minute ride is three seconds faster than Great Britain’s best, set in London in March.

Round one and then the medal finals will take place on Friday.

All you need to know about the team pursuit

Women's team pursuit qualifying result

1. Great Britain 4-13.260 [World record, Olympic record]

2. USA 4-14.286

3. Australia 4-19.059

4. Canada 4-19.599

5. New Zealand 4-20.061

6. China 4-25.246

7. Italy 4-25.543

8. Poland 4-28.988

9. Germany 4-30.068 [did not qualify]

British fans celebrate as their riders set a new world record in the qualifying round of the 2016 Olympic team pursuit (Watson)

British fans celebrate as their riders set a new world record in the qualifying round of the 2016 Olympic team pursuit (Watson)
(Image credit: Watson)

Thank you for reading 10 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Simon Richardson
Magazine editor

Editor of Cycling Weekly magazine, Simon has been working at the title since 2001. He fell in love with cycling 1989 when watching the Tour de France on Channel 4, started racing in 1995 and in 2000 he spent one season racing in Belgium. During his time at CW (and Cycle Sport magazine) he has written product reviews, fitness features, pro interviews, race coverage and news. He has covered the Tour de France more times than he can remember along with two Olympic Games and many other international and UK domestic races. He became the 130-year-old magazine's 13th editor in 2015.