Bradley Wiggins cruises to pursuit title in Beijing

Bradley Wiggins becomes the first man to successfully defend the individual pursuit title at the Olympic Games.

Bradley Wiggins did what everyone was expecting and defended his individual pursuit title in Beijing tonight. It was a consummate performance from the man who has made this event his own in the last four years.

Wiggins had time to spare in each of his three rides, and although New Zealand’s Hayden Roulston held his own for the first two kilometres, the Brit never looked to be in danger of losing his title. The biggest shock of the event was that another Brit took the bronze.

Young Steven Burke of Burnley, surprised everyone by turning out three world class rides in the Laoshan velodrome, eventually dropping his personal best to 4-20 minutes to beat Alexei Markov of Russia in the bronze medal final.

Burke was only selected to ride on Thursday morning and had no time to prepare for the event. His ride is not only an indication of his talent but of the talent of the British coaching staff to get their riders in to peak condition for major events.

Burke was here as fifth man in GB’s team pursuit and was expected to ride qualifyling to give Bradley Wiggins a rest. He’s now the third best pursuiter in the world.

As for Wiggins, his Olympic campaign is just getting started. Tomorrow he will ride the team pursuit looking for his second gold, and while he won’t be looking any further than that, everyone else is allowed to think ahead to Tuesday night’s Madison where he will partner Mark Cavendish in what could be another amazing night for British cycling.


Day two at the track: Summary of the action
Hoy and Edgar clean up in the Keirin
Wiggins gets pursuit gold, Burke wins bronze
Newton storms to bronze in points race
Blog: Life in Laoshan
Day one in pictures
Brits blast to team sprint gold
Day one at the track: Summary of the action
As it happened on Friday: Gold for team sprint trio; Wiggins, Houvenaghel and Romero well in control
Burke blasts to new individual pursuit PB
British track stars raring to go
What makes the Laoshan such a challenge
Picture special: CW takes you inside the Laoshan velodrome
Saturday’s preview
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