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29th Olympic Games - JO
Beijing, China, August 9-23, 2008
Event 6 - August 15: Men's Individual Pursuit Qualifying
Wiggins flies to Olympic record
By Laura Weislo
Great Britain's Bradley Wiggins broke his own Olympic record on his way to qualifying for the first round of the men's pursuit, going 0.134 seconds faster than his qualifying ride in Athens four years ago with a 4'15.031. The reigning world champion and defending gold medallist showed he is simply head and shoulders above the rest of the world by going nearly four seconds faster than his nearest competitor, Hayden Roulston of New Zealand.
Roulston put in a strong performance to win his heat against Jenning Huizenga, setting a 4'18.99 mark for the four kilometres. Russian Alexei Markov was third, two and a half seconds slower than the Kiwi, while Ukraine's Volodymyr Dyudya was fourth. Steven Burke of Great Britain was a surprise fifth. Burke set one of the slowest first two kilometres, but then clearly found some extra fuel in the tank and surged in the final half - going even faster than his team-mate Wiggins' last kilometre.
Spaniard Toni Tauler, Taylor 'mini' Phinney (USA) and Alexander Serov (Russia) all advanced to the next round. "My goal was just to qualify," said Phinney following his performance. "That was the hardest I've ever pushed myself in a pursuit. In training we thought the track would be faster, but it might have been a little colder in here today."
In a surprise defeat, neither of the Australians made the top eight and saw their dreams of a medal vanish. Bradley McGee was more than two seconds off the last advancing spot in ninth, while Brett Lancaster came in 12th. "That was not the Bradley McGee I expected to be. You come in with a positive mindset and in really good shape, but it just didn't turn out," McGee told AFP.
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by AFP Photo
Images by Casey Gibson/www.cbgphoto.com
Images by Rob Jones/www.canadiancyclist.com
Images by Greg Chang/PhotoSport International
1 Bradley Wiggins (Great Britain) 4.15.031 (56.463km/h) 2 Hayden Roulston (New Zealand) 4.18.990 3 Alexei Markov (Russian Fed) 4.21.498 4 Volodymyr Dyudya (Ukraine) 4.21.530 5 Steven Burke (Great Britain) 4.22.260 6 Antonio Tauler (Spain) 4.22.462 7 Taylor Phinney (United States) 4.22.860 8 Alexander Serov (Russian Fed) 4.23.732 9 Bradley McGee (Australia) 4.26.084 10 Sergi Escobar (Spain) 4.26.102 11 David O'Loughlin (Ireland) 4.26.102 12 Brett Lancaster (Australia) 4.26.139 13 Jens Mouris (Netherlands) 4.27.445 14 Vitaliy Popkov (Ukraine) 4.30.321 15 Fabien Sanchez (France) 4.33.100 16 Carlos Alzate (Colombia) 4.35.154 17 Alexandr Pliuschin (Rep. of Moldova) 4.35.438 18 Jenning Huizenga (Netherlands) 4.37.097