COLNE’s Steven Burke helped Great Britain’s team pursuit men win gold in stunning style at the World Track Cycling Championships on Wednesday - setting a new world record in the process.
Burke replaced Andy Tennant as fresh legs for the final in a change from the team that qualified fastest earlier in the day, and after the lead changed hands several times, the British quartet powered home to beat hosts Australia into second in Melbourne.
Ed Clancy, Pete Kennaugh, Burke and Geraint Thomas clocked three minutes 53.295 seconds, with favourites Australia close behind, finishing in 3:53.401 for silver.
Two months ago, the result was reversed in London as Australia beat the British men’s pursuit team by two and a half seconds at the World Cup, but the GB quartet have since made up ground on the formidable Australian four of Glenn O’Shea, Jack Bobridge, Rohan Dennis and Michael Hepburn.
Clancy told BBC Sport: “That’s the best race I’ve had.
“It’s the ones you really have to fight hard for that you remember, and we won’t forget that one.
“We got into that last lap and I’d already given it everything, I was just a passenger - I thought, ‘Oh man, I’m going to lose it all here.’
“Thankfully, it was just enough.”
Their time beat the previous world record mark from when Britain won Olympic gold in Beijing in 2008, and brought GB a first world title in the event in four years.
Thomas added: “It definitely makes up for London, that’s for sure.
“We’re really looking forward now, London 2012 is massive.
“The crowd would go nuts for a lap, then go quiet, and I was like, ‘I think we’re up now.’
“We had a strategy, we pushed it to the edge and we had enough of a buffer to hold on. “It’s a great, great feeling.”
The championships, at the Hisense Arena, Melbourne, run until Sunday, and are the last races before the Olympics in August.
The team that has won the last three world championships in Olympic year – 2000, 2004 and 2008 – have all gone on to win at the Games themselves.