Australian Anna Meares and teammate Kaarle McCulloch gave Australia its second rainbow jersey of the UCI World Track Championships on Thursday, besting the team from Great Britain in the women's team sprint by 0.231 seconds.
The more experienced Meares, who has taken Olympic gold and two world titles in the 500m time trial in the past, led off with the 21-year-old McCulloch in tow. Meares opened up a half second lead over Shanaze Reade and then pulled off to let McCulloch finish off the race.
"After we qualified fastest I knew we were up against the British pair and they have ridden a 33.1 [33.186 at 2008 World Championships -ed.] between the two of them, so I knew I had to be on my game out of that first gate and that first lap to give Kaarle the best shot for second wheel and we smashed it," said an ecstatic Meares.
McCulloch showed no fear in facing down Olympic gold medallist and multiple world champion Victoria Pendleton, and while she conceded some time to her more experienced competitor, the Aussie held enough speed to help take the gold medal by 0.143 seconds.
"I tell you what, Anna's just been absolutely fantastic for me," said McCulloch. "She's kept me cool, calm and collected and I'm just absolutely amazed to win a world title with her.
"I was really calm (for the final) although when I saw that we got the fastest time in qualifying my heart was racing and I just had to tell myself 'calm down, calm down' and then on the start line I just told myself what I had to do and I did it."
The defending champions, Victoria Pendleton and Shanaze Reade, were just shy of the fastest time set by Australia in the qualifying round, and focused on stepping up their game for the final. They succeeded in going 0.21 seconds faster in the final, but it wasn't enough.
"We knew we had to find a tenth [of a second] and we did but the Australians went faster," Pendleton, told BBC Sport.
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Laura Weislo has been with Cyclingnews since 2006 after making a switch from a career in science. As Deputy Editor, she coordinates coverage for North American events and global news. A former elite-level road racer who dabbled in cyclo-cross and track, Laura has a passion for all three disciplines. When not working she likes to go camping and explore lesser traveled roads, paths and gravel tracks.
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