Records tumble in Manchester

Bradley Wiggins leads the Great Britain team

Bradley Wiggins leads the Great Britain team (Image credit: John Pierce)

The competition at the UCI Track World Championships is proving to be some of the fastest in history, with no fewer than four world records being set in the first two days of racing. The home town British riders scored two records on Thursday, setting new marks in the the men's team pursuit and the women's team sprint on their way to three gold medals, with Rebecca Romero adding to the team tally in the women's pursuit.

Two world records were recorded in the first day of competition in Manchester, as the French team posted the fastest time in history in the heats of the men's team sprint, only to improve it again in the final with another world record of 43.271 seconds. The record, however, is unofficial because the event relies on laps and not a set distance, and track lengths vary from venue to venue.

The other unofficial record went to American Taylor Phinney, who eclipsed the 3'17.775" three kilometre record, which was set by Australian Michael Ford in 2004, during his individual pursuit qualifier. The three kilometre distance is the mark for junior riders, and the 17 year-old Phinney is petitioning to have the time recognised by the UCI, even though it was set during the senior distance of four kilometres.

On the second day, the British men's pursuit team smashed the record by nearly three-tenths of a second, going under the time of 3:56.610, set by Australia at the Athens Olympics. Ed Clancy, Bradley Wiggins, Paul Manning and Geraint Thomas put in a 3:56.322 on their way to retaining the World title.

The next record fell when defending World Champions Victoria Pendleton and Shanaze Reade broke their earlier mark in the women's team sprint qualifier, powering to a 33.128. They went on to claim the gold in the final over China.

Fortunately for the riders, the Manchester velodrome was precisely measured by the Plowman Cravens company to ensure the records will stand. The Hertfordshire based geomatics company was asked to measure the new track surface to make it ready to accept claims for world records.

The 3D team from the company scanned the track using specialised equipment to create a computer model which accurately measured the 250 metre black datum line marking the edge of the track. Precise measurement is vital to ensure the track complies with UCI requirements.

"By using accurate survey methods in the field and then by mapping the surface of the track as a 3D model, we are confident the internal edge of the black line accurately represents the physical 3D distance," said Stuart McLeod, the 3D Project Manager.

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