By Shane Stokes in Manchester
"To get the world record is incredible," said Ed Clancy after the Great Britain team's gold-medal ride in the team pursuit final. "To do it with these guys is unbelievable; Brad, Paul and Geraint are my best mates. So it is a great feeling.
"We have known for months that the record could be on. However it is one thing having the numbers on paper, but it is another getting up there with the right conditions, having four good riders with good legs and actually doing it. We were on 3'56" schedule, which is world record pace. Every lap we got a bit of feedback and nine times out of ten the indications were that we were on pace. So I knew we would be there or thereabouts."
The Great Britain team were well beaten by Denmark's quartet in the qualification round. Others might have been intimidated by the 1"25 second margin, but Clancy's team-mate Paul Manning said that the riders remained focused on the task and believed it was possible to take gold.
"It is a bit of a cliche but we just concentrated on our own game plan," he told Cyclingnews. "We set a schedule that we thought would be enough to win and we pretty much held on to it in the end. I guess the pressure and the support of our whole crowd was in our favour as well, so we just enjoyed that.
"The thing is, we always do such a good second ride... for example, Bradley showed what he can do on his second ride yesterday [in the individual pursuit]. Traditionally we go a bit quicker in our second ride, as we did [to the Danes] in Copenhagen."
Given the time difference between the qualifiers and the world record the GB quartet set in the final, it appeared that they may have kept something in reserve earlier in the day. Clancy played down this suggestion, saying that it was actually a reshuffling of the team order which led to the quicker pace.
"To be honest we weren't really holding back. I think it is fair to say - as Geraint [Thomas] would be the first to admit it - we put him in the man two position down the bottom of the track. It takes a lot out of you there as you have to start quickly at the bottom. It is the first time he has raced from there with the senior squad, and he struggled a bit with that. We then put him back to man four in the final and everyone was flying."
Each of the riders will now return to road racing, focusing on that for the next couple of months before then increasing their track work once more prior to Beijing. Manning and Clancy will be competing with their Landbouwkrediet-Tönissteiner squad, Bradley Wiggins will do the same with Team High Road and both Geraint Thomas and Steve Cummings will revert to the colours of Barloworld.
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