Cycling-Australia take morale-boosting win over Britain


Sun, 19 Feb 18:18:00 2012

* We haven't peaked yet, says Australia coach

* Thomas looking forward to great Olympic final (Recasts with quotes, details)

Australia claimed a morale-boosting victory against Britain to win the gold medal in the men's team pursuit at the London track World Cup series on Sunday as the rivalry intensified between the two teams before the Olympics.

Jack Bobridge, Rohan Dennis, Alexander Edmondson and Michael Hepburn took control after the first kilometre to clock 3:54.615 over 4,000 metres, failing, however, to beat the world record set by Britain at the Beijing Olympics.

New Zealand took the bronze medal.

The victory was a welcome boost for Australia, who have been underperforming at the London Velodrome in a test event for this summer's Olympics.

Australia had previously claimed only one gold medal through Melissa Hoskins in the scratch race, an event that will not feature at the Olympics.

"It's great to come here and do what we aimed to do, and that was to win, but also to take back a little information about the track," Bobridge told a news conference.

"Being the world champions and coming here and doing such a good time, a new Australian record.

"Obviously we're still five, six weeks out from the worlds (championships) but it's a good sign for the worlds and the Olympics and we just have to keep chipping away."

Australia coach Gary West said his team were still far from their best.

"We're in training mode. We haven't peaked yet. Ultimately the Olympics is what we're aiming for," he told reporters.

"We'll be better in Melbourne and we'll be better in London."

The world championships will be held in Melbourne from April 4-8.

Britain's Geraint Thomas admitted the best team won on the day.

"We're not trying to make excuses, we got beaten on the day for sure we got a long way to go," the Welshman, who will skip this year's Tour de France to concentrate on the track, told reporters.

"Over the last three years they've been tremendously improving all the time."

Thomas had no doubt Team GB would be meeting Australia in the Olympic final on August 3.

"It's gonna be a great Olympic final. What they do is what they do we have to look after ourselves, have confidence in ourselves," he said.

"I got a road block ahead of me and then Paris-Nice and get back on the track, then that specific work again which is what I've been lacking, the cadence.

"I'm ready looking forward to it (the Games) it's great to have this rivalry, the way they've improved they've been hunting us since Beijing for sure they definitely got the upper hand at the minute but that's gonna make us hungrier."


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