Gold for record-breaking GB

  • Last Updated: August 4 2012, 7:57 BST

Britain's cyclists are flying along with a wall of noise after claiming three Olympic titles from four events at the London 2012 velodrome.

Team GB: Gold in world record time

Ed Clancy, Geraint Thomas, Peter Kennaugh and Steven Burke successfully defended Britain's four-kilometre team pursuit title on a night when Victoria Pendleton won keirin gold and the women's team pursuit squad qualified fastest for day three's knockout rounds.

The wave of momentum appears unstoppable after Bradley Wiggins won the Tour de France and Olympic time-trial gold as part of a haul of three medals on the road in the first week of London 2012.

The team pursuit was much anticipated, but the expected duel with Australia did not come to fruition as Thomas, Clancy, Kennaugh and Burke set the three fastest times in history, culminating in a world record of three minutes 51.659 seconds, with the silver medallists almost three seconds adrift.

Britain won seven of 10 events in 2008, with Thomas and Clancy combining with Wiggins and Paul Manning to win the team pursuit, and the hosts are on course to challenge that mark.

"Whenever a GB guy or girl gets on the track, they're looking to win," Thomas said.

"We're all just flying now and it's unbelievable."

After delivering in front of an expectant, partisan crowd, Clancy added: "It just blows your mind. We talked about how good it would be to defend it, the Aussies, the Ashes on wheels and all that.

"Just to make it happen, to put your hands in the air, it felt like everyone here was cheering for us. It was just incredible.

"The whole way round it was just a wall of noise.

"It was almost surreal, just bizarre. I don't think we've woken up yet. It feels like a dream."

Britain won April's Track Cycling World Championships in Melbourne for a first rainbow jersey in the event since before Beijing, at the Manchester event in 2008.

Thomas added: "A few of us have had wake up calls and we had a bit of a dip after Beijing, which was expected.

"A lot of people were saying we weren't going to get back up and Australia were coming up hard, but I think we've all really upped our game."

One of the wake-up calls came after the 2011 European Championships when the team pursuit squad were summoned by British Cycling performance director Dave Brailsford and head coach Shane Sutton for a "talking to" over a disappointing display, despite winning in Apeldoorn.

The squad were banned from attending a Rihanna concert and were thrust into boot camps in Manchester, Majorca and Newport in preparation for their date with destiny on the home boards of London.

But it did not all go smoothly, with Thomas suffering a bout of diarrhoea and Kennaugh returning from May's Giro d'Italia with a hip injury which put a question mark over his Olympic participation.

A time of 3mins 50secs had long been mentioned in dispatches leading up to the Games, but ultimately it was beyond Britain and Thomas and Kennaugh praised Clancy and Burke for their roles in delivering gold.

Kennaugh said: "If me and G (Thomas) were fully on top of our game, I reckon we could've really pushed it. We were just holding what Ed and Burkey gave us today."

The regime forged strong bonds on and off the bike, with each and every one describing their team-mates as their best friends.

The performance astounded onlookers, including Wiggins.

"To experience a home Olympics is something special, to win gold and see these boys do what they have done tonight is incredible," Wiggins said.

"I'm jealous in a way, but I'm sitting here as winner of the Tour de France and the Olympic time-trial gold medallist, which I can't get my head around."

Thoughts were with Andy Tennant, who was an unused reserve, therefore missing out on a medal, despite being part of the full process.

Clancy said: "He's a great guy and he was there with us."

Thomas and Kennaugh's focus is now poised to turn to the road, where their untapped potential means they could yet emulate Wiggins.

Burke is already looking ahead to the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

The 23-year-old from Lancashire said: "It's the best team pursuit that's ever lived. I just want to try and win another in four years' time."

Kennaugh was also eyeing a return in Brazil, hoping to drag Thomas with him.

Clancy added: "I hope this continues because I don't think we'll ever have it so good.

"Geraint said he's going to buy a bottle of Cristal for every 10th (of a second) we took off the world record, so it's going to be one hell of a party I'm going to miss tonight."

Thomas, Kennaugh and Burke are likely to forgo full champagne celebrations until Clancy completes the six-discipline, two-day omnium.

Clancy said: "The team pursuit is always my number one goal, but yes, let's go and see what we can go and do in the omnium.

"By the nature of the event I think I've got an okay chance of getting a medal, but I've also got an okay chance of getting eighth or ninth."

Joanna Rowsell, Laura Trott and Dani King qualified in 3mins 15.669secs, almost four seconds clear of the field and were poised to meet Canada in tomorrow's semi-final, with Wendy Houvenaghel on standby to be drafted in.

Jason Kenny, who won team sprint gold on day one, is also set to resume action when qualifying and the early rounds of the three-day sprint begins.