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World Track Championships - CM
Melbourne, Australia, May 26-30, 2004
Men's 4000m Teams Pursuit - first round - May 29, 2004
Are we hot or what?
By Mal Sawford
May 29, 2004: Chris Boardman’s prediction that the four minute barrier would be broken at the 2004 Track Cycling World Championships looks like a sure thing, but it was the Australian squad who recorded a sizzling 4.00.937 in cool conditions this afternoon, to move through to tonight’s Gold Medal final.
Joining them in the race for the rainbow jerseys will be the team from Great Britain, who took four seconds off their qualifying time while recording a comprehensive win over the German team. The addition of a rested Individual Pursuit Silver Medallist Rob Hayles to the team (at the expense of Steven Cummings), produced the results the team expected.
Hayles pulled some long turns, and lost contact with the group with three laps remaining, but was satisfied with the time. He was more concerned with how the team looked in full flight, asking an event volunteer “did we look good?” Her answer “you guys looked hot” brought the response “well, that’s the most important thing then!”
The Spanish team recorded another big improvement, their 4.03.754 two seconds better than their qualifying time. Until this week, Spain’s best time was a 4.09. A poor changeover on the final lap “was unfortunate, to have a gap in the last lap, but not much time was lost” according to a team official – certainly not enough to have cost them a shot at the Gold Medal.
They accounted for the young squad from Russia by winning the second heat, and are quite confident of claiming a Bronze medal in tonight’s final. The ride between the Netherlands and Lithuania stayed dead level for the first two kilometres, before the powerful Dutchmen pulled away, to win in a time fractionally quicker than their second ranked qualifying time.
Australia rode in the final heat against the slowest qualifier, Ukraine. Mark Renshaw made way for Luke Roberts, and although recording times fractionally slower than the pace-setting British team, the quartet stormed home in the final kilometre to record what they believe is one of the ten fastest times in history.
The Aussies were the only team to finish with four riders, further indication of just how strong they are. Peter Dawson indicated that the team still hadn’t been stretched, but when asked if the World Record was under threat indicated that “all we want to do here is win; that was the main goal. If the World Record comes, that would be great.”
Dawson also revealed that the team had used “our qualifying gear, 102 inches up until now. We’ll step up to our racing gear which I can’t really tell you what that is!”
Heat 1 1 Great Britain 1.03.734 (1) 2.01.984 (1) 3.01.668 (1) 4.02.063 (59.488km/h) Robert Hayles Paul Manning Christopher Newton Bryan Steel 2 Germany 1.04.355 (2) 2.04.440 (2) 3.05.767 (2) 4.09.723 (57.663km/h) Robert Bengsch Guido Fulst Christian Lademann Leif Lampater Heat 2 1 Spain 1.04.826 (1) 2.03.733 (1) 3.03.613 (1) 4.03.754 (59.075km/h) Carlos Castano Panadero Sergi Escobar Roure Asier Maeztu Billalabeitia Carlos Torrent Tarres 2 Russia 1.06.159 (2) 2.06.370 (2) 3.07.773 (2) 4.10.042 (57.590km/h) Vladislav Borisov Alexander Hatuntsev Alexey Markov Oleg Grishkine Heat 3 1 Netherlands 1.05.711 (2) 2.05.324 (1) 3.04.744 (1) 4.05.335 (58.695km/h) Levi Heimans Jens Mouris Jeroen Straathof Peter Schep 2 Lithuania 1.05.389 (1) 2.05.427 (2) 3.06.858 (2) 4.09.363 (57.747km/h) Linas Balciunas Vytautas Kaupas Tomas Vaitkus Raimondas Vilcinskas Heat 4 1 Australia 1.04.406 (1) 2.02.867 (1) 3.01.715 (1) 4.00.937 (59.766km/h) Peter Dawson Ashley Hutchinson Luke Roberts Stephen Wooldridge 2 Ukraine 1.05.220 (2) 2.04.727 (2) 3.05.215 (2) 4.07.751 (58.122km/h) Volodymyr Dyudya Roman Kononenko Vitaliy Popkov Volodymyr Zagorodniy
Heat 1 Great Britain Steven Cummings Paul Manning Christopher Newton Bryan Steel Germany Robert Bartko Guido Fulst Christian Lademann Leif Lampater Heat 2 Spain Carlos Castano Panadero Sergi Escobar Roure Asier Maeztu Billalabeitia Carlos Torrent Tarres Russia Vladislav Borisov Alexander Hatuntsev Alexey Markov Alexey Shmidt Heat 3 Netherlands Levi Heimans Jens Mouris Peter Schep Jeroen Straathof Lithuania Linas Balciunas Aivaras Baranauskas Tomas Vaitkus Raimondas Vilcinskas Heat 4 Australia Peter Dawson Ashley Hutchinson Mark Renshaw Stephen Wooldridge Ukraine Volodymyr Dyudya Roman Kononenko Vitaliy Popkov Volodymyr Zagorodniy