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LONDON (AFP) — Former champions France put their Olympic team sprint ambitions on display Friday by dominating qualifying to set up a World Cup final duel with Germany.
Britain, the reigning Olympic champions, only finished fourth in this Olympic test event at the London velodrome, setting up a bronze medal match with Australia, in third.
France’s team has been hit with a bitter rivalry between starter Gregory Bauge and Kevin Sireau, both of whom are fighting for the sole Olympic spot for the coveted individual sprint event.
However the duo put their bickering to one side and combined with anchor man Michael d’Almeida to post a fastest time of 43.606sec.
It was well off the world record pace of 42.914, set by Germany 13 months ago in Colombia, but was enough to book the final later Friday with reigning world champions Germany, who were second fastest in 43.650.
Australia finished third fastest in 43.869 while the British trio of Ross Edgar, Jason Kenny and Sir Chris Hoy had to settle for fourth in 43.876.
1. France (Gregory Bauge, Kevin Sireau, Michael D’Almeida) 43.606sec, 2.
Germany 43.650, 3. Australia 43.869, 4. Britain 43.876, 5. New Zealand
Selected: 6. China 44.424, 8. Japan 44.791