Men's Team Pursuit - UCI World Cup, London

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UCI Track Cycling World Cup Series

UCI Event UCI World Cup, London
17th-19th February 2012
London, UK



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17th February 2012

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18th February 2012

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19th February 2012

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UCI EventWomen's Omnium
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Australia Top Qualification in London


Australia Top Qualification in London

17th February 2012: Australia's team pursuit men set the fastest qualifying time to give the Cyclones a solid start to the final round of the UCI Track World Cup Series being staged at London's Olympic Velodrome.

The quartet for the men's event included reigning world champions Jack Bobridge, Michael Hepburn and Rohan Dennis as well as 2011 junior world champion Alex Edmondson. Australia was the second last team of 18 to post a time and, of the teams ahead of them, only Great Britain (Steven Burke, Edward Clancy, Peter Kennaugh and Geraint Thomas) had ridden under the magic four minute barrier. The venue was close to capacity and a wall of sound erupted to spur on the British team who clocked an impressive 3.58.446 for the 4000 metres.

That gave the Australians a target to aim for as to guarantee a start in the gold medal ride and with Russia scheduled to ride after them, they had to better the British mark They started slower than the British but built momentum quickly to be the fastest team through the one kilometre mark. It was a lead they maintained to the end where they stopped the clock in 3.57.885, half a second quicker than Great Britain.

"That felt really smooth," said Bobridge after the ride which was scheduled just after 9.30pm. "It was good to get a hit out on the track (and) it is a bit different tonight with the qualifying so late at night. Normally you can get that blow out early in the morning and the cobwebs are normally flushed out.

"We can't complain with that ride. It was smooth, fast and in control the whole time."

The Australia versus Great Britain showdown is scheduled for Sunday and Bobridge predicts it will be a fast one.

"Come the final we will be on the track to win and it will be interesting to see what (time) we can do," he said. "It is only a new track for it to be that fast already is a good sign for things to come. Give the boards another six months and a bit more racing on it then come the Games there will be some very quick times for sure."

Men's Team Pursuit - UCI World Cup, London Qualification Results

1. Australia - 3m 57.885s
2. Great Britain - 3m 58.446s
3. New Zealand - 4m 04.218s
4. Belgium - 4m 06.596s

Qualification Results - Tissot Timing Results

Content - Cycling Australia




19th February 2012: Australia is a medal contender in every Olympic track cycling event according to Cycling Australia's National Performance Director speaking after the final round of the UCI World Cup raced on the Games velodrome in London.

Kevin Tabotta's prediction came after the men's 4km pursuit team rode the third fastest time in history to defeat arch rivals Great Britain and rising star Annette Edmondson claimed a surprise silver medal in the women's omnium competition on the fourth and final day of racing.

The Cyclone's quartet was made up of reigning world champions Jack Bobridge, 22, Rohan Dennis, 21,and Michael Hepburn, 20, with 18 year old Alex Edmondson completing the line up. They qualified fastest on Thursday night and in the final cranked up the pace to win gold in a time of 3:54.615. That was almost two seconds quicker than Britain's Steven Burke, Edward Clancy, Peter Kennaugh and Geraint Thomas who clocked 3:56.330 for second place. It was also the third best time ever ridden behind the world record time of 3.53.314 set by Great Britain in Beijing and the time of 3.54.395 ridden by the Brits in the Manchester World Cup in 2009.

"Our main purpose was to come here and win," said Bobridge who despite his own youth is the elder statesman of the team dubbed a 'boy band' by some British media because of their tender years. "It's the quickest we've ever gone before and it's a massive stepping stone for the whole team and the whole group. To be five six months out from Games and to do that is a good sign.

"We knew the track was obviously really quick and that it would take a (3.) 54, 55 to win (so) being able to do it was awesome," said Bobridge who is the world record holder in the individual pursuit and who, since stepping into the senior team in 2008 has won two world titles and a Commonwealth Games team pursuit gold medal. But he says at no point can the team afford to become complacent.

"We're never going to give them an inch, they're a world class team and world record holders," said Bobridge. "We wouldn't give any team an inch starting from the beginning, through to the finish and to race across the line. Never for one minute in the race do we let our guard down."

He says he expects the world record will fall if not at April's worlds titles in Melbourne, then in London in August.

"I think come the Games we are going to see around the 3:51, 3:50 mark," he said. "We have proved it over the past few years, we are getting quicker every time we get on the boards."

Hepburn said the event felt more like a world championship than a world cup because of the crowd support for Britain and complimented teenager Edmondson for maintaining his calm before and during the race.

"Alex is the fastest 18 year old in the world now and it must have been pretty intimidating lining up alongside three world champions but he did a great job," said Hepburn as the object of his praise lay prostrate on the concrete floor of the media interview area trying to get air back into his lungs.

"I gave it 110 prcent and I couldn't see straught by the end," said Edmondson at a later media conference. "I was seeing stars."

"Alex hasn't got the physical maturity of the other three guys so his job was to do half lap turns and make sure he maintained the speed so the next guy coming through behind him didn't have to pick it up and he did it perfectly," said Cycling Australia track endurance coach Ian McKenzie who left the remaining member of the 2011 world champion team, Luke Durbridge, out of the starting four in favour of Edmondson and has multiple world champion, Cameron Meyer, Glenn O'Shea and Mitchell Mulhern also waiting in the wings.

"We'll always run five or six guys in the mix all the way through and that's important for them and they understand that internal competition drives them along," said Tabotta of the fierce competition to earn a men's pursuit berth for London. "But there will come a time when we'll settle the team in and move forward towards August.

Tabotta says he wsn't surprised by the fast time ridden by the Australian team considering their credentials.

"We've really been on top for the last couple of years but it is always a challenge to stay on top," said Tabotta. "When you're coming from behind it is sometimes an easier task, easier to keep people's heads on and expectations at a level but when you're competing from the front you have to keep the wolves at bay and keep lifting it a notch every time.

"The challenge for the Olympics in August is whether we can go two or three seconds faster to win the gold medal," he said predicting Australia would also challenge across the other nine events on the program. "We've worked pretty hard over the last four years to give ourselves more options and I don't think I'm being unrealistic in saying we believe we're in the hunt in most Olympic events but the difference between first place and fourth place is really up to them on the day.

"It's easy to be favourite going in and run fourth or fifth but also quite possible for riders on the fringe to step up and win medals," Tabotta said. "I think we're a medal chance in every event."

Men's Team Pursuit - UCI World Cup, London Results

1. Australia - 3m 54.615s
2. Great Britain - 3m 56.330s
3. New Zealand - 3m 59.242s
4. Belgium - 4m 04.956s

Full Results - Tissot Timing Results

Content - Cycling Australia



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