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Wiggins claims gold for Team GB

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Highlights: Wiggins powers to pursuit glory

Bradley Wiggins won Britain's first gold on day one of the World Track Cycling Championships in Manchester.

Olympic champion Wiggins defended his crown in the 4,000m men's individual pursuit by beating Jenning Huizenga of the Netherlands in the final.

Jamie Staff, Ross Edgar and Chris Hoy won silver for GB in the team sprint behind reigning champions France.

Shanaze Reade was seventh in the women's 500m time trial but Steven Burke did not finish his scratch race.

Wiggins was a clear favourite to win the individual pursuit event but some doubts were raised when he timed four minutes, 17.024 seconds compared to Huizenga's 4:16.343 when they met in the heats.

The home favourite had led the duel for most of the way before being pipped in the closing stages as the pair set the two fastest times to go into the final.

BBC Sport's Andy Nicolson

But the Briton raised his game in the final face-off as he powered to a comfortable win in 4:18.519.

Wiggins had to start in the back straight for the final but put in a stellar performance to easily overcome his rival, who finished just under five seconds adrift.

Wiggins, who won the gold on his son's third birthday, said his overriding emotion after victory was "relief".

He added: "I was on a stormer in qualifying so backed off not knowing what the other guy was doing. But there was no doubt in the final really, but Huizenga is a good up-and-coming lad.

"More than anything I am pleased to win in Manchester."

Bradley Wiggins
Wiggins' gold medal is a perfect birthday present for his son

In the team sprint Staff, Edgar and Hoy were always up against it as they faced the French trio of Gregory Bauge, Kevin Sireau and Mickael Bourgain in the final.

The gold medallists set a new world best time of 43.514secs in their heat against Holland, while Britain booked their place in the final after recording 43.910secs to beat Germany.

France went quicker in the final and finished over half a second ahead of the Britons who managed to set a new British record, while Holland beat Germany to win bronze.

In the earlier men's scratch race, Aliaksandr Lisouski of Belarus just managed to fend off a late charge from Dutchman Wim Stroetinga to claim gold with Germany's Roger Kluge winning the bronze medal.

see also
GB rule the boards
26 Mar 08 |  Cycling
World Cycling highlights
26 Mar 08 |  Cycling
World Cycling - day one photos
26 Mar 08 |  Cycling
Pendleton and Hoy make GB squad
12 Mar 08 |  Cycling
Cycling on the BBC
25 Mar 08 |  Cycling
British Cycling racing calendar
06 Nov 07 |  Cycling

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