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29th Olympic Games - JO

Beijing, China, August 9-23, 2008

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Event 6 - August 15: Men's Individual Pursuit Qualifying

Wiggins flies to Olympic record

By Laura Weislo

Great Britain's Bradley Wiggins
Photo ©: AFP
(Click for larger image)

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."

Hayden Roulston (New Zealland)
Photo ©: AFP
(Click for larger image)

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

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