• World Track Championships

GB lose pursuit title to dominant Australia

ESPN staff
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Great Britain were way off the pace set by Australia in the men's pursuit final © PA Photos
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Great Britain lost their World Track Championship men's pursuit title on Wednesday, finishing a distant second to Australia in the gold-medal race in Belarus.

Only two of the GB quartet who won gold at London 2012 in world record time were included in the team tasked with defending the world title they won in Australia last year.

Geraint Thomas and Peter Kennaugh have moved on leaving Ed Clancy and Steven Burke to bring on younger riders Samuel Harrison and Andrew Tennant.

Australia, who also opted for a youthful four, stopped the clock at 3.56.751secs while GB came in at 4.00.967secs over the four kilometre course.

There was little to choose between the two line-ups in qualifying but in the final Australia were always pulling away from their opponents, despite their train being reduced to three when Glenn O'Shea dropped out.

British lead-off man Clancy was not too disappointed by only taking silver and stressed that he felt the team was in decent enough condition for the start of an Olympic cycle.

"In a gold-silver race you would rather win than lose but I am betting they [Australia] would trade that for the Olympic and Worlds [gold medals] last year," Clancy said.

"This is part of a long process. We have got new faces in the team. We are in a lot better position than we were at this point in the last Olympic cycle."

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