Australians record narrow victory in team pursuit

The Aussie train

The Aussie train (Image credit: Mitch Friedman)

Australia is back on top in the 4km team pursuit after posting a narrow victory against Great Britain in the final on Saturday evening. The Australian quartet of Mark Jamieson (TAS) 21, Peter Dawson (WA) 24, Matthew Goss (TAS) 19, and Stephen Wooldridge (NSW) 28, stopped the clock at 4:01.491 to defeat Great Britain (Stephen Cummings, Rob Hayles, Paul Manning and Geraint Thomas) by 0.036 of a second (4:01.527) in one of the closest fought gold medal finals in this event in world championship history.

The Australians were half a second up after one kilometre but the Brits fought back to within a tenth of a second by halfway. Australia rallied to stretch the margin to 0.4 of a second with one kilometre remaining and from there both teams laid it all on the line. The Brits edged ahead with two laps remaining but the Australians refused to say die and clawed back the lead to secure the gold medal. It's the first senior World Championship gold medal for Jamieson and Goss but for Dawson and Wooldridge the win brings them their fourth team pursuit rainbow jersey (2002, 2003, 2004 & 2006).

Cyclingnews' Mal Sawford was trackside in Bordeaux, where he interviewed the winning quartet.

CN: Was there one thing you can put the win down do?

Mark Jamieson: To me it just felt like we'd finally got it all together.

Stephen Wooldridge: Since the Olympics obviously we've had a change, it's the new generation. Last year we got the bronze medal with new riders, with Pete and myself, and also Ashley Hutchinson who's been here the whole time, the last five years, didn't get a ride tonight, but this victory is as much for him anyway. What you see is we're just getting better as a team, as a unit, and the unity and the technique is coming together, and that's what you saw today. I think that was a great time tonight.

CN: How confident were you going into the final?

SW: After this morning, the two teams very close, a betting man would say it was going to be a very close final and it was. It was just who cracked first, and I don't think anyone really cracked, it was just all the way to the line.

MJ: It wasn't confidence coming into the final so close, it was just belief in ourselves and our teammates that made the difference.

CN: Did anyone pull out a huge effort, or did you all contribute equally?

Peter Dawson: Jamo did some very strong turns, to win a team pursuit like that, it was close; it was one of the closest won at a world championships for a lot of years and it takes four guys. Jamo had an awesome ride, Steve had an awesome ride, Gossy had an awesome ride, and I'm going to say I had an awesome ride as well! We put that down to Aussie guts I guess. Me and Steve have now won four and the boys have now got their first one at the same age as I was back in 2002, so Australian cycling's got bigger and better things to come coming to Beijing.

SW: One thing I would like to say is that it's team pursuit, and that's the word - team. There's four guys here, but there's really five involved in this so that's a shame that they don't award five medals anymore, I think it's a bit of a joke to tell the truth. I think the UCI really should look at how they're adopting that policy, because it's a team sport and without five or six riders it's just not possible to win these events. All credit to Ash Hutchinson who's been there the whole way through.

MJ: It is a team, and no-one's stronger than the next man. You finish with three guys and that's how it is.

CN: Are you able to tell just how close it is during the race?

SW: The coach gives us that indication, but we knew it was close the whole way. When you can't see the other team you a have a pretty good idea!

CN: Matt, you've let the other guys do all the talking. How do you feel right now?

Matthew Goss: It's great. I'm so young to win a world championship, I can't ask for anything more.

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