• The Great Britian women's team pursuit team (Getty) (Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
Great Britain broke the women's team pursuit world record in the qualifying round of the Rio Olympic Games. Strewn out on the boards when they crashed just three days ago, the Australians posted the third fastest time.
By
Cycling Central

12 Aug 2016 - 10:14 AM  UPDATED 12 Aug 2016 - 10:20 AM

In the men's event, Australia qualified third fastest behind Denmark and Great Britain.  

Women's 4000m team pursuit 

Great Britain's Katie Archibald, Laura Trott, Elinor Barker and Joanna Rowsell were off world record pace at each of the kilometre marks but finished hard and fast to break it on the line.

Reigning world champions the USA, with their revolutionary left hand side drive trains, rode faster than the Brits at each kilometre but faded on the way home, qualifying second fastest. 

Aussie womens team pursuit squad crashes in Rio velodrome
The five-woman team pursuit squad took a tumble whilst training in the Rio velodrome today with Melissa Hoskins stretchered off track 'as a precaution'. She was taken to hospital for further checks.

It was a nervous wait to see just how the crash affected Australia's performance especially Melissa Hoskins' who suffered the most damage. Visible scars marked Annette Edmonson, Georgia Baker, Amy Cure and Hoskins but after initially struggling to get into position, their strong formation led them to the third fastest qualifying time.

Hoskins peeled off when scheduled in the final kilometre but it was not without its hardship. 

"To be carried and lifted on to the bike, to be honest it's been challenging," Hoskins told Channel 7's Katherine Bates after the race, her voice breaking. 

"But we had to go out there and give it everything. 

"We rode well and all the girls have really carried me. I was glad I had the opportunity to line up at the start with my best friends. Everyone rallied, we're in the hunt." 

The Australians' third place in qualifying is an improvement on their world championship qualifying placing of fourth, and their final fifth place there.   

Great Britain at the same world championships qualified in fifth position, winning the bronze in the final round.

Germany failed to qualify after dropping their third rider in the final kilometre leaving her unable to cross the line with her team mates, their time not counting until she did. 

Australia held the now broken world record since February 2015. Here's how the lap times differ to today's world record: 

Australia, February 2015:   

  • 1:07.518  (Lap 1) Total time:  1:07.518 
  • 1:01.157 (Lap 2)  Total time:  2:09.044 
  • 1:01.661 (Lap 3)  Total time:  3:10.70 
  • 1:02.978 (Lap 4)  Final time:  4:13.683

Great Britain, Rio Olympic Games 2016:   

  • 1:07.955  (Lap 1) Total time:  1:07.955
  • 1:01.526 (Lap 2)  Total time:  2:09.112 
  • 1:01.892 (Lap 3)  Total time:  3:11.004
  • 1:02.256 (Lap 4)  Final time:  4:13.260

Australia now face the USA in the next round.  Check Cycling Central's home page and social media for its track daily viewing guide. 

Men's 4000m team pursuit 

Despite much talk of world record breaking performances emerging from training, the big favourites Great Britain and Australia appeared to ride conservatively. 

Great Britain's Ed Clancy got the team to speed with a huge pull on the front in the opening two laps. Then it was big man Wiggo's turn to pull two laps.

The team hovered around the world record but just managed not to break it.

The Australians looked ragged in the final kilometre but may have conserved energy to fight another day.  

The Netherlands were a DNF after Joost van der Burg crashed on the final lap, the team not able to finish with just three riders. 

Australia matches up against Denmark in the next round. Check Cycling Central's home page and social media for its track daily viewing guide. 

Women's results

  1. Great Britain 4:13.260 
  2. United States +1.026 
  3. Australia +5.799 
  4. Canada +6.339 
  5. New Zealand +6.801 
  6. China +11.986 
  7. Italy +12.283 
  8. Poland +15.728 
  9. Germany +16.808 (did not qualify)

 

Men's results

  1. Great Britain 3:51.943 
  2. Denmark        +3.453 
  3. Australia         +3.663 
  4. New Zealand   +4.034 
  5. Italy                +7.765 
  6. Germany        +8.968 
  7. Switzerland  +11.902 
  8. China           +13.209