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Aussies stick it to Brits in World Cup team pursuit

LONDON, Feb 19, 2012 (AFP)—World champions Australia struck a  psychological blow ahead of the Olympics as they beat Great Britain in the men’s team pursuit final on Sunday in a World Cup event at the London Olympic  velodrome. Australia’s quartet, featuring Jack Bobridge, Rohan Dennis, Alexander  Edmondson and Michael Hepburn,…

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LONDON, Feb 19, 2012 (AFP)—World champions Australia struck a  psychological blow ahead of the Olympics as they beat Great Britain in the men’s team pursuit final on Sunday in a World Cup event at the London Olympic  velodrome.

Australia’s quartet, featuring Jack Bobridge, Rohan Dennis, Alexander  Edmondson and Michael Hepburn, clocked a winning time of 3min 54.615sec to
claim the gold as Britain settled for silver in 3:56.330. New Zealand beat Belgium for the bronze. Britain, who set the world record of 3:53.314 on their way to gold in Beijing four years ago, started fastest to take the slimmest of leads over  Australia after the first of the 4km event.

But from then on, the quartet of Steven Burke, Ed Clancy, Peter Kennaugh,  and Geraint Thomas were playing catch-up as the Australians steadily increased
their lead over the remaining nine laps.

The result will be a huge morale-boost for Australia ahead of this summer’s Olympics in London, which will be preceded by another confrontation between the pursuit superpowers at the April 4-8 world championships in Melbourne.

In the bronze medal match New Zealand’s Sam Bewley, Aaron Gate, Westley Gough and Marc Ryan clocked 3:59.242 to outclass Belgium.