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Olympics: Italy beat Denmark and break world record in men’s Team Pursuit final

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Filippo Ganna celebrates Team Pursuit victory in the Tokyo Olympics.

(Image credit: Getty)
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Olympic TP qualifying

Switzerland in qualifying action (Image credit: Getty)
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Olympic TP qualifying

Filippo Ganna leads the Italian quartet (Image credit: Getty)
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Olympic TP qualifying

Australia's challenge was interrupted by a crash. (Image credit: Getty)
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Olympic TP qualifying

Great Britain in full flight. (Image credit: Getty)
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Olympic TP qualifying

Great Britain placed fourth in qualifying. (Image credit: Getty)
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Olympic TP qualifying

Denmark en route to the best mark in qualifying. (Image credit: Getty)
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Olympic TP qualifying

Great Britain in team pursuit qualifying (Image credit: Getty)
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Alex Porter of Australia crashed in the men's Team Pursuit qualifying round after a bike failure

(Image credit: Getty Images)
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Alex Porter of Australia crashed at speed

Alex Porter of Australia crashed at speed (Image credit: Getty Images)
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Alex Porter of Australia gathers his Team Pursuit bike after his crash

Alex Porter of Australia gathers his Team Pursuit bike after his crash (Image credit: Getty Images)
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Filippo Ganna

Filippo Ganna celebrates (Image credit: Getty)
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Filippo Ganna

Filippo Ganna was the engine for Italy's victory (Image credit: Getty)
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Italy win Olympic gold in the team pursuit Tokyo 2021

Italy en route to team pursuit gold. (Image credit: Getty)
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Italy win Olympic gold in the team pursuit Tokyo 2021

Jonathan Milan celebrates victory. (Image credit: Getty)
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Italy win Olympic gold in the team pursuit Tokyo 2021

The Italian squad celebrates team pursuit gold. (Image credit: Getty)
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Italy win Olympic gold in the team pursuit Tokyo 2021

The Italian team in full flight. (Image credit: Getty)
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Italy win Olympic gold in the team pursuit Tokyo 2021

Agony for Denmark, ecstasy for Italy. (Image credit: Getty)
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Italy win Olympic gold in the team pursuit Tokyo 2021

Italy claimed team pursuit gold for the first time since 1996. (Image credit: Getty)
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Tokyo Olympics team pursuit

Elia Viviani congratulates the Italian pursuit squad on victory. (Image credit: Getty)
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Tokyo Olympics team pursuit

Denmark were pipped to gold. (Image credit: Getty)
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Tokyo Olympics team pursuit

Denmark were the favourites but they were squeezed out at the last. (Image credit: Getty)

Italy won the gold medal in the men’s Team Pursuit final at the Tokyo Olympics snatching victory from Denmark in the final lap and setting a new world record of 3:42.032.

Italy started fast but Denmark were 0.8 of a second ahead with 1km to go. Filippo Ganna was again the late locomotive for the azzurri, however, and he dragged Italy to victory and the gold medal.

Denmark set a time of 3:42.198 to take the silver medal, which was inside the world record Italy set in Tuesday’s first round.

Australia won the bronze medal in the ride-off with New Zealand. The Kiwis lost a rider in a crash after a touch of wheels and the other three riders split, ending their hopes.

Australia caught the New Zealand riders with a lap to go to partially make-up for their own crash in the qualifying round.  

Canada won the ride-off for fifth place, setting a new national record time of 3:46.324 as they closed-in on the German team in the final laps. Germany set a time of 3:50.023 to finish sixth.

Great Britain beat Switzerland in their ride-off to finish seventh in the final result, setting a time of 4:45.636. The Swiss set 3:50.041 for eighth place.

Ganna cut Denmark’s lead by 0.2 of a second on each lap. Italy was 0.285 down as the bell rang out to signal the final lap but Ganna was flying as Denmark faded badly. Italy hit the line first and their winning margin was confirmed at 0.166 of a second.

Denmark set a time of 3:42.198 to take the silver medal, which was inside the world record Italy set in Tuesday’s first round.

The Italian quartet of Francesco Lamon, Simone Consonni, Jonathan Milan and Ganna were in disbelief that they had won gold and pulled off a last kilometre comeback in one of the most thrilling team pursuit finals of all time, beating the strong Danish quartet of Lasse Norman Hansen, Niklas Larsen, Frederik Madsen and Rasmus Pedersen.

Ganna held his Pinarello track bike aloft and then the riders and team staff hugged and let out their emotions.

Denmark make final amid crash polemic

Denmark and Italy will race for gold in Wednesday’s men’s Team Pursuit final at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics after a dramatic first round saw Italy break the world record with a time of 3:42.307, while Denmark crashed into Great Britain in the final lap of their ride, sparking anger and confusion about who would qualify to take on Italy.

After half an hour of deliberation, the race judges eventually ruled that Denmark had officially caught Great Britain just before Frederik Rodenberg Madsen rode into Charlie Tanfield, ending polemics about the blame but perhaps not stopping an eventual legal challenge.   

The high-speed crash meant the race ended in farce, with Rodenberg shouting at Tanfield as he lay on the track and with Denmark and Great Britain blaming each other.  

Denmark were ultimately declared the winners and so will face Italy in the final to decide the gold and silver medals, while Great Britain’s final time of 4:28.489 meant they failed to qualify for the bronze medal ride-off. That will be contested by Australia and New Zealand.  

Australia came back from their qualifying ride crash to set a time of 3.44.902 as they raced against Switzerland, their time to give them a chance of a bronze medal and revenge. 

Australia changed their line-up and checked their handlebars and stems to confirm their true level but face a real battle with their southern hemisphere rivals, who set 3:42.397 in their close race with Italy. 

The Kiwi’s were ahead going into the final kilometre but Italy edged ahead and set a new world record in their ride thanks to Filippo Ganna riding the final three laps on the front.

Italy will be hoping Ganna can do it again in the final against Denmark on Wednesday, with the world record likely to be up for grabs during the battle for the gold medal. 

Denmark dominate qualification round

Denmark dominated the men’s Team Pursuit qualifying at the Tokyo Olympics, setting the fastest time of 3:45.014, with Australia almost certainly missing out on a medal ride after Alexander Porter crashed after a kilometre due to an apparent cockpit failure at high speed.

Australia got back on the track after treatment and recovery but could only set a time of 3:48.448, the fifth fastest time. The best Australian can do is qualify for the bronze medal ride-off but they now face a massive task.

Filippo Ganna let the Italians to the second fastest time of 3:45.895, with New Zealand third setting 3:46.079. Great Britain were slightly off the pace for the medals but qualified fourth with a time of 3:47.507 and so made it through to the next round and a shot at the medals. However, Great Britain will face Denmark, while Italy go up against New Zealand. The winners will fight for the gold medal, while the two fastest teams who didn't make it to the gold final will ride for bronze.

Denmark started fast, half a second faster than Italy, on a new world record pace, but they lost a rider quite early and eased slightly. However their time of 3:45.014 set a new Olympic record, a sign of more to come in the medal rides.

Lasse Norman Hansen drove the Danish quartet that also included Frederik Madsen, Rasmus Pedersen and Niklas Larsen. There time was one second slower than their own world record but they appeared on control on track for gold.  They will face Great Britain in Tuesday’s first round, with the medal rides on Wednesday. 

Ganna anchored the Italian quintet but almost blew them apart in the final laps when they were down to three. He eased off the pace and Italy set a time of 3:45.895. They were the first to break the Olympic record and also set a new Italian record but they will surely tweak their race strategy to make the best use of Ganna’s speed.

Great Britain rode immediately after the Australian crash, perhaps shocked to see a major rival fall.

They have a team of youth and experience, with Ed Clancy riding his fourth Olympics and Ethan Vernon just 20. However Great Britain were never near the pace of Denmark or Italy and they were down to three riders after 2,750 metres.

They set a time of 3:47.507 and then had to wait to see how Australia performed in the hope of holding onto their medal hopes. Fortunately for Great Britain, their long-time rivals struggled after their crash in the first major upset of the track racing.

While five teams went below 3:50, Clancy suggested the times could have been quicker.

"We were fully prepared for perhaps four or five teams to break the world record so if anything I'm surprised more teams weren't going quicker," he said.

Clancy insisted the Great Britain was not affected by the Australian crash.

“You never want to see that,” he said. "But I don’t think it affected us. I just don’t think we quite had what we were hoping for. We were going well in our holding camp but that hasn’t transferred into speed yet. But so far, we’re still in the game.”

Men's Team Pursuit Final
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Italy 0:03:42.032 (WR)
Simone Consonni
Filippo Ganna
XFrancesco Lamon
Jonathan Milan
2Denmark 0:03:42.198
Lasse Norman Hansen
Niklas Larsen
Frederik Madsen
XRasmus Pedersen
3Australia
Kelland o'Brien
Sam Welsford
XLeigh Howard
Lucas Plapp
RAlexander Porter
OVL New Zealand
Aaron Gate
Campbell Stewart
XRegan Gough
Jordan Kerby
5Canada 0:03:46.324
XVincent de Haitre
Michael Foley
Derek Gee
Jay Lamoureux
6Germany 0:03:50.023
Roger Kluge
Felix Gross
XLeon Rohde
Domenic Weinstein
RTheo Reinhardt
7Great Britain 0:03:45.636
Ethan Hayter
Charlie Tanfield
Ethan Vernon
XOliver Wood
REdward Clancy
8Switzerland 0:03:50.041
XRobin Froidevaux
Stefan Bissegger
Valere Thiebaud
Cyrille Thiery
RThery Schir
RMauro Schmid

Men's Team Pursuit qualifying
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Denmark 0:03:45.014
Lasse Norman Hansen
Niklas Larsen
Frederik Rodenberg Madsen
Rasmus Pedersen
2Italy 0:03:45.895
Simone Consonni
Filippo Ganna
Francesco Lamon
Jonathan Milan
3New Zealand 0:03:46.079
Aaron Gate
Campbell Stewart
Regan Gough
Jordan Kerby
4Great Britain 0:03:47.507
Ethan Hayter
Edward Clancy
Ethan Vernon
Oliver Wood
5Australia 0:03:48.448
Kelland O'Brien
Sam Welsford
Leigh Howard
Alexander Porter
6Canada 0:03:50.455
Vincent de Haitre
Michael Foley
Derek Gee
Jay Lamoureux
7Germany 0:03:50.830
Theo Reinhardt
Felix Gross
Leon Rohde
Domenic Weinstein
8Switzerland 0:03:51.514
Robin Froidevaux
Stefan Bissegger
Mauro Schmid
Cyrille Thiery

Men's Team Pursuit Round 1 Heat 1
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Canada 0:03:46.769
XVincent de Haitre
Michael Foley
Derek Gee
Jay Lamoureux
2Germany 0:03:48.861
Theo Reinhardt
Felix Gross
XLeon Rohde
Domenic Weinstein

Men's Team Pursuit Round 1 Heat 2
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Australia 0:03:44.902
Kelland O'Brien
Sam Welsford
XLeigh Howard
Lucas Plapp
RAlexander Porter
2Switzerland 0:03:49.111
XThery Schir
Stefan Bissegger
Valere Thiebaud
Cyrille Thiery
RRobin Froidevaux
RMauro Schmid

Men's Team Pursuit Round 1 Heat 3
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Italy 0:03:42.307 (WR)
Simone Consonni
Filippo Ganna
XFrancesco Lamon
Jonathan Milan
2New Zealand 0:03:42.397
Aaron Gate
Campbell Stewart
XRegan Gough
Jordan Kerby

Men's Team Pursuit Round 1 Heat 4
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Denmark
Lasse Norman Hansen
Niklas Larsen
Frederik Rodenberg Madsen
XRasmus Pedersen
OVL Great Britain
Ethan Hayter
Charlie Tanfield
Ethan Vernon
XOliver Wood
REdward Clancy

X - dropped, R - Reserve rider

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