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Team pursuit final - the gap was narrower

The Aussie train

The Aussie train (Image credit: Mitch Friedman)

In our News story yesterday on the Australian team's victory in the teams pursuit final at the UCI Track Cycling World Championships in Bordeaux on Saturday, April 15, Cyclingnews reported the finishing margin as "36 hundredths of a second", when in fact it was 36 thousandths of a second (0.036).

Both teams were down to three riders for final few laps, but Australia's third rider stopped the clock at 4.01.491, compared to Great Britain’s 4.01.527 in one of the closest finals in memory.

Replays indicate that the first rider for the British team actually hit the line before an Australian, but the Australians fanned out to hit the line side by side, while the British trio were still in pursuit formation.

Great Britain's coach, Simon Jones, admitted to being “a little bit surprised with the result to be honest.

"I don’t often like to think about the result generally, I like to think about our performance. I was actually more pleased there with our performance than I was at the Commonwealth Games, because we rode a really good pursuit."

Jones explained that the British squad were beaten despite everything going to plan. "We didn’t come out as quick - that was the plan. And we came home really fast; we were beaten by the better team and I genuinely believe that. Overall I’m really pleased, but it’s gutting to lose, particularly to the Aussies! They rode a fantastic race though, it was close. It was a good race,” he said.

It appears the Australians had learned a lesson from the earlier session. In the qualifying rides, Australia had had the best time check at 3750 metres, but Britain had picked up almost a second over the final lap. Australian coach Ian McKenzie said, “it wasn’t so much that the English had a mammoth last lap [in qualifying], it was more that we had a really poor last lap, so we put a strategy in place to try and eliminate that”.

The strategy worked, and it was this difference in technique that seemingly made the difference on the night.

See: Day 3 wrap for more details

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