Cycling - Great Britain's women claim pursuit world title

Great Britain underlined their dominance as the Olympic women's team pursuit champions claimed the world title for the third straight year.

Cycling - European gold and world record for British team pursuiters

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Britain's Laura Trott, Dani King and Elinor Barker compete during the women's team pursuit

Laura Trott, Dani King and Elinor Barker qualified quickest and were pushed in the early stages of their final by traditional rivals Australia. But with coach Paul Manning guiding their tactics, they didn't panic, powering to Great Britain's first gold in Minsk in a time of 3:18.140. Victory also secures Great Britain's place in the record books, with this the final three rider 3,000m team pursuit final - next year the race will be over 4,000m with four riders, just like the men's event. And considering Britain's impressive depth in endurance track riders - Olympic gold medallist Jo Rowsell is focussing her season on the road - the future looks promising. "It was very hard but it flowed so nicely and we stayed composed and stuck to our plans," said Trott. "We changed a few things from qualification and it came together and everything was just spot on. "We're really starting to dominate this now, we've only lost this event once back in 2010, so it's great to continue that record." Becky James claimed her second bronze in 24 hours with a third place in the women's 500m time trial - and her best event is still to come. James, who partnered Vicky Williamson to bronze in the team sprint, edged out Lizandra Guerra Rodriguez to claim the last place on the podium while Hong Kong's Wai Sze Lee took gold ahead of Germany's Miriam Welte. "I really chuffed with that, it's a huge personal best for me," said James, who clocked 52.734. "I couldn't be happier with how it's going here. It's not my favourite event but I left nothing on the track and I've probably got my best event still to come - the sprint."

Ireland's Martyn Irvine won two medals in under an hour - shortly after taking silver in the pursuit, he clinched his first world title in the 15-km scratch race.

"How is it possible to win two medals in one day? I have no idea. It's unbelievable," the 27-year-old, who was born in Northern Ireland, told reporters.

"I just went 100 percent and it paid off. It's a magnificent moment for me and I just want to enjoy it," he said.

"I've been working hard. There's no track in Ireland so I have to travel a lot, training in Mallorca."

Austria's Andreas Muller was second and Australian Luke Davison third in the race over the 60 laps.

Australian Michael Hepburn retained his individual pursuit title, speeding around a fast wooden track over 4,000 metres in four minutes 16.733 seconds, beating Irvine in the men's final by almost eight seconds to give Australia their third consecutive gold medal in the event.

"It's a special feeling," said the 21-year-old Brisbane native, who won a second gold in two days after leading the Australian quartet to victory in the team pursuit on Wednesday.

"It was important for me to defend my title in this event," he added. "I have the ambition for road racing, but the Olympic gold medal is also a big goal for me so in next few years I'll decide if I want to concentrate on the road or the track."

Hepburn's time, however, was well outside of the world record of 4:10.659, set by fellow Australian Jack Bobridge in Sydney two years ago. Bobridge won the title in 2011.

Switzerland's Stefan Kueng won the bronze, beating another Australian Alexander Morgan in the consolation final.

The German trio of Rene Enders, Stefan Botticher and Maximilian Levy upset the favourites to clinch the men's team sprint title, with New Zealand coming second and France third.

Britain, with Jason Kenny and Philip Hindes - part of the team that won Olympic gold in a world record time in London - came a disappointing sixth behind Australia and Russia.

Newcomer Kian Emadi-Coffin had a tough time replacing six-times Olympic champion Hoy who is still pondering his future in the sport, as the British team finished more than a second outside their world mark.

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