The Australian women's trio of Ashlee Ankudinoff, Megan Dunn and Sarah Kent rode a world record time of 3'37.138 to take gold in the team pursuit at the Junior Track Cycling World Championships in Cape Town, South Africa on Monday.
After Ankudinoff had taken gold ahead of Kent in the individual pursuit, the Australians were clear favourites and qualified fastest to face New Zealand in the final. "We just had to beat the time to get into the ride for the gold medal so we sat on the schedule our coach (Tim Decker) set down for us," said Dunn of the qualifying round.
The final was a different story as the Australians went all out to slash more than four seconds off their qualifying time and set a new world record in an event making its debut at the world championships. The New Zealand team collected silver in 3'44.805 while Belgium defeated Russia for the bronze medal.
"My personal feelings going into it were that we definitely had the horsepower and fitness but it comes down to technique and getting the small things right," said Dunn. "In the final we had nothing to lose by going all out and Tim (Decker) told us not to look at the New Zealanders but to concentrate on what he was calling out to us during the race."
"I'm pretty rapt because I came into this Championships not expecting anything and with no pressure," said Ankudinoff, who had already claimed gold in the individual pursuit on Sunday. "When I won the IP I just wanted Sarah to experience what I had so in the teams it was great to get the win so everyone could have that gold medal feeling."
For Kent the rainbow jersey of world champion came a little later than she had hoped but has left her more than pleased with her efforts in the junior ranks.
"I came into this year and really wanted gold in the IP and it was unbelievable to again have two Aussies in the final," said Kent. "After last year racing against Josie (Tomic) I knew what it was all about but I wasn't too disappointed because I knew I'd given myself every opportunity and the staff and coaches had as well.
"I did everything I could and had nothing left at the end and I was beaten by a better bike rider of the day in Ash," said Kent. "But the team pursuit gave me another chance and it's been a dream of ours since we were selected for the team that we would all come away with a rainbow jersey and my team-mates already had one each and really wanted me to have one as well.
"I was so thrilled I slept in it and even wore it to breakfast this morning."
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