SOUTH Yorkshire cyclist Ed Clancy is celebrating the region’s first gold after he helped to set a world record in Great Britain’s men’s team pursuit squad, writes Graham Walker.
They claimed a thrilling gold in on the second day of competition at the London 2012 Olympic Velodrome.
Ed Clancy, from Barnsley, Geraint Thomas, Peter Kennaugh and Steven Burke clocked three minutes 51.659 seconds to triumph by a supreme margin ahead of arch-rivals Australia.
The quartet of Jack Bobridge, Glenn O’Shea, Rohan Dennis and Michael Hepburn finished with silver in 3mins 54.581secs.
The British quartet, who won Track Cycling World Championships gold in Melbourne in April, now have successfully defended the title won by Clancy, Thomas, Bradley Wiggins and Paul Manning in Beijing.
New Zealand’s Sam Bewley, Marc Ryan, Jesse Sergent and Aaron Gate claimed bronze in 3:55.952, with Russia’s Evgeny Kovalev, Ivan Kovalev, Alexey Markov and Alexander Serov finishing fourth (3:58.282).
Great Britain’s women advanced as they also claimed a world record in team pursuit qualifying. The World Championship-winning women’s squad of Dani King, Laura Trott and Joanna Rowsell clocked three minutes 15.669 seconds to go through to Saturday’s first round.
The British trio, who lowered their own best set in April in Melbourne, were set to meet the Canada in what is effectively a semi-final. Canada clocked 3mins 19.816secs to progress in fourth, while second-fastest qualifiers the United States (3:19.406) were set to meet Australia (3:19.719), the third quickest, in the second semi-final.
Meanwhile, Victoria Pendleton was set to ride for keirin gold. The 31-year-old from Stotfold was, together with Jess Varnish, eliminated from the two-woman, two-lap team sprint for a takeover infringement on day one of the track programme, leaving the duo in tears.
But Pendleton, who last won the keirin world title in 2007, responded in the event which begins behind a motorised Derny bike, progressing to the final with a supreme ride in the second round as she led from one and a half laps to go. Clara Sanchez of France was second with China’s Guo Shuang third to join Pendleton in the final.
Already there were world champion Anna Meares of Australia, Canada’s Monique Sullivan and Hong Kong’s Lee Wai Sze, who advanced from the first second-round heat.
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