Boardman 4km pursuit record falls

Wed, 02 Feb 15:48:00 2011

Chris Boardman’s 15-year-old 4km individual pursuit world record has been broken by Jack Bobridge of Australia.

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Bobridge, 21, won his heat at the Australian National Track Championships in Sydney with a new record time of four minutes and 10.534 seconds, 0.58s quicker than Briton Boardman’s 1996 mark.

But he will not be able to topple Olympic champion Bradley Wiggins of Britain - because the event has been removed from the cycling programme for the 2012 London Games.

"His time is quite amazing. A lot of people never thought it would happen," Boardman, now 42 and working for Team GB’s cycling team, told the BBC. "But if it was an Olympic discipline, we would have Bradley Wiggins, Geraint Thomas and some other young lads focusing on this.

"As soon as it was taken out of the Olympics, our national team - very much Olympic-focused - absolutely stopped thinking about it completely. That competition ended.

"The Australians still hold it in high esteem, which is nice to see, and they've stuck with it.

"But the term that's been used for the British in the past is 'passionately ruthless' - our performance programme is funded to chase Olympic gold medals, period. If this doesn't count then why am I expending energy on it? It's a nice-to-have but ultimately it isn't the job."

Garmin-Slipstream rider Bobridge rode in the Beijing Olympic team pursuit, coming fourth with Australia while Britain took gold.

He was also a member of the Australia team that won gold in the team pursuit at the UCI Track Cycling World Championships last year.

"I didn't think the record was going to come for a long time - I certainly didn't think it would come while I was on the track," Bobridge said.

"To come around and see that on the board, I was honestly quite shocked.

"I thought the clock had stopped a lap early, so I had to look at it a few times, but then I saw everyone going crazy, and then it started to get a little overwhelming."

Eurosport

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