Men's Team Pursuit Locked in for Shot at Gold
Cycling | Published:
Thu 13 April 2017
Australia kick started its title defence of its men’s team pursuit crown with a scorching near-world record ride in qualifying on day 1 of the 2017 Track World Championships in Hong Kong.
The Australian squad that features reigning world champion Sam Welsford in tandem with fellow West Aussie and six-time track world champion Cameron Meyer, helped the team to a blistering 3mins 50.577secs in overtaking archrivals Great Britain as they set down the fastest time and a laid a marker of intent to the rest of the field.
The new look Australian quartet completed by Alex Porter (SA) and Kelland O’Brien (VIC) bolted from the gates and straight onto world record pace after the first kilometre.
The Australians were relentless over the second half, reeling in their British opponents inside the final few hundred metres, before sending a ripple through the team pits as they stormed to an intimidating time.
The team’s time - just .312 outside of Great Britain’s world record set at Rio 2016 Games - made even more astounding considering they were forced to overtake their opponents with two laps to go.
In the evening’s first round ride against France, debutant Rohan Wight (SA) took his place in the line up for Meyer with immediate impact.The team's considered ride of 3mins 54.125secs was a personal best for former junior world champion, while importantly, it stamped the team's ticket into the gold medal ride.
The final will be a trans-Tasman affair after New Zealand recorded times of 3mins 53.422secs and 3mins 54.363secs in their qualifying and first round efforts, to progress to the final which will be raced on day 2.