Great Britain’s rivals on the track have paid tribute to the British men’s team pursuit squad at Rio 2016 after they won a third consecutive Olympic gold medal on Friday evening.
Bradley Wiggins, Owain Doull, Steven Burke and Ed Clancy set two world records – once in the first round and again in the final – on their way to gold in the velodrome, beating Australia in the final.
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“It was extremely impressive what they were capable of doing,” said New Zealand team pursuit rider Aaron Gate, who rode against GB in the first round and ultimately finished fourth after losing in the bronze medal ride off against Denmark.
“It’s almost unbelievable and huge credit to them how much they have stepped up from the world champs and come out and been flying for the Olympics like they seem to be doing every cycle.”
Gate’s comments were echoed by his national performance manager Mark Elliott, who said Great Britain’s world record time of 3-50.265 on a relatively slow track in Brazil was “spectacular.”
Jack Bobridge, who won his second team pursuit silver behind Great Britain to go with the one from London four years ago, said it was no surprise that GB had been so strong.
“We know the Brits, they are a very dialled in team. They always are,” he said. “They come to every competition and what they do in the qualifying, they’re always worth one to 1.5 seconds quicker [in the final].
“We went into that final and we laid everything on the line, we went full gas from the word go and tried to hang on to it, and it wasn’t enough.”
Rasmus Quaade, who won a bronze medal for Denmark in the event, was similarly unsurprised by Britain’s ride.
“They rode as expected,” he said. “We always thought that they would win it.”