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Page last updated at 10:36 GMT, Monday, 18 August 2008 11:36 UK

GB storm to gold in team pursuit

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Video - GB team pursuit power to gold

Great Britain's men's pursuit team destroyed Denmark to win the Olympic gold medal in a new world record time of three minutes, 53.314 seconds.

Bradley Wiggins, Paul Manning, Geraint Thomas and Ed Clancy produced a superb ride to break their own 4000m record and beat the Danes by 6.7 seconds.

It secured Wiggins his second gold medal of the Beijing Games and Britain their 11th cycling medal.

Team GB's 12th title in all is also their best gold haul since 1920.

They have won nine medals on the track, five of them being gold, and there are further hopes with Chris Hoy and Jason Kenny contesting the men's sprint, Victoria Pendleton the women's sprint and Wiggins and Mark Cavendish the Madison.

This is pinnacle - we've been working on this for the best part of a decade and what a performance

Paul Manning
The British quartet, who were beaten by the Australians in the 2004 Athens Games, were racing Denmark in a repeat of the 2008 World Championship final.

But the result was never in doubt and, having led from start to finish, Wiggins, Manning, Thomas and Clancy came preciously close to catching Michael Moerkoev, Casper Joergensen, Jens-Erik Madsen and Alex Nicki Rasmussen.

Denmark reached the final with victory over France in a time of three minutes, 56.831 seconds, while Britain beat Russia in a world record time of 3:55.202, but the gulf in class was far greater in the 16-lap final.

"We were just rattling around, it was so smooth, it felt easy to be honest," Thomas told BBC Sport.

"We knew it was fast but 3:53.314 we just can't believe it. That's going to go down in history, that time won't be broken in a long time, we're the best team in the world."

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Manning, a member of the pursuit team that won bronze at the 2000 Sydney Games and silver four years later, said: "This is the pinnacle. We've been working on this since before Sydney - for the best part of a decade - and what a performance."

Wiggins, who has now won five medals in three Olympics, added: "It was phenomenal. Yesterday I was pretty down after the first couple of rounds because I wasn't my normal self and didn't want to let these guys down.

"To put it in perspective, that was 11 seconds faster than the Olympic record we set in Sydney eight years ago.

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Video - GB sprinters into semi-finals

"I know how much these guys have sacrificed for this one event - it's just fantastic to be part of this team. We've come a long way in four years.

"I've still got one to go with Cav, he's raring to go and hopefully we'll do it. I'm back to my normal self and I've trained for this so we'll give it a good shot."

In the men's sprint quarter-finals, meanwhile, Hoy saw off Malaysia's Mohd Azizulhasni Awang and Kenny beat Kevin Sireau of France, both looking particularly impressive in claiming 2-0 wins.


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see also
GB pursuit team set world record
17 Aug 08 |  Cycling
Golden Britons sparkle in Beijing
16 Aug 08 |  Olympics
Awesome GB sprint team take gold
15 Aug 08 |  Cycling
Is Britain too good at cycling?
18 Aug 08 |  Olympics
Wiggins in top form as GB shine
15 Aug 08 |  Cycling
Olympic road race glory for Cooke
10 Aug 08 |  Olympics
Beijing 2008
14 Feb 08 |  Olympics
The role of a sprint cyclist
03 May 08 |  Cycling


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