Wiggins denied as Australia win team pursuit gold

Thu Mar 3, 2016 5:40pm EST
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By Martyn Herman

LONDON (Reuters) - Bradley Wiggins' hopes of leading Britain to team pursuit gold at the world track championships were foiled by old rivals Australia in a thrilling final on Thursday.

It looked as though Wiggins, 35, and team mates Jonathan Dibben, Ed Clancy and Owain Doull would raise the roof in the Olympic velodrome as they recovered from an early deficit but a youthful Australia outfit struck back to claim the title.

Victory for Sam Welsford, Michael Hepburn, Callum Scotson and Miles Scotson was Australia's sixth world title in the event in the past 11 editions of the championships and laid down the gauntlet for this year's Rio Olympics.

Their time of 3:52:727 was just outside the world record set by Britain on the same boards at London 2012.

"When you look back at the last few Olympic cycles, the team that has won at the worlds has won the Olympics," Hepburn, 24, told reporters. "But there's still a hell of a lot of work to do."

Double Olympic champion Laura Trott's perfectly-timed sprint in the 10km scratch race gave the hosts their first medal at the championships after the disappointment of Britain's women's team pursuit quartet only managing the fifth-fastest time in their qualifiers, ruling them out of gold medal contention.

Trott, part of Britain's dominant track team at the 2012 Olympics when she won gold in the omnium and team pursuit, burst to the front on the 40th and final lap at the London velodrome and edged out Kirsten Wild of the Netherlands on the line.

"I know this is not an Olympic event but last year in Paris this was the event that let me down in the omnium and I've worked so hard on it over the past 12 months," Trott said.   Continued...

Winner Laura Trott of Great Britain (C), second placed Kirsten Wild of The Netherlands (L) and third placed Stephanie Roorda of Canada pose on the podium of  the Women's Scratch Race Final at the UCI Track Cycling World Championships in London, Britain, March 3, 2016.    REUTERS/Matthew Childs