British cycling quartet smash world record

Great Britain's team pursuiters broke the world record as they successfully defended their title at the track cycling World Championships in Manchester on Thursday evening.

The British quartet of Bradley Wiggins, who won the individual gold on Wednesday, Ed Clancy, Geraint Thomas and Paul Manning completed the 4000 metres race in three minutes, 56.322 seconds. The time beat the previous all-time best of 3mins 56.610secs set by Australia when they won the Olympic gold in Athens.

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Bradley Wiggins

Edward Clancy, Geraint Thomas, Paul Manning and Bradley Wiggins of Great Britain pose with their gold medals following their victory in the Men's Team Pursuit Gold Medal Final, during the UCI Track Cycling World Championships at the Manchester Velodrome.

The time took them to victory over a Danish quartet who were close to what was then a world record set by Australia in Manchester at the 2002 Commonwealth Games.

And Wiggins believes the team could go even quicker at the Beijing Olympics when they will hope to improve on finishing second behind the Australians, as they did four years ago.

He said: "The big aim is always the Olympics but we've prepared well for this, then we had a couple of illnesses the last six weeks which kind of put to bed the thought of doing a world record so, yeah, I do believe we can go faster.

"A couple of the lads had colds and I was on my death bed about five weeks ago!"

And there was a second gold on the night and the third of the week for Great Britain to celebrate when Rebecca Romero completed her transition from silver medal-winning rower at the 2004 Olympics to world cycling champion by beating Sarah Hammer of the United States in the final of the women's individual pursuit.

And a fourth gold followed soon after when Victoria Pendleton and Shanaze Reade defended their title in the women's team sprint.

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