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Team GB break world record in pursuit

The Team GB team pursuit squad announced their readiness for the Olympics with an outstanding gold medal and world record performance in Sydney.

The squad, consisting of Steven Burke, Ed Clancy, Peter Kennaugh, Geraint Thomas and Andy Tennant shocked the Australians who had come to regard the team pursuit as one of their strongest events.

The British team pursuit squad had finished behind the Australians at the Olympic test event in the London velodrome in February, but said at the time that they were getting closer to the Australians.

How close became apparent in the fastest qualifying round ever. In the final the lead changed a couple of times, and just as the Australians seemed to be beaten, they recovered and were catching the British in the final laps. In the end Team GB held on in a new record time of 3min 53.295sec.

Ed Clancy is the cyclist with a knack of coming up with the most colourful quotes and he didn't disappoint. "We went off like bats out of hell, both teams, and we were all dying on our asses at the end," he said. "It was a proper sh*t fight."

Team GB's standards are so high that they were disappointed with gold at the European championships last October, because of the mediocre time. Andy Tennant joined the team at the last moment, and Thomas is fighting to retain his place. Defeating the Australians in the world championships will bond the team, and boost their confidence ahead of the Olympic summer.

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