Wiggins to go for gold

  • Last Updated: July 24 2014, 18:03 BST

Sir Bradley Wiggins will race for gold on his track cycling return this evening when England face off against favourites Australia in the team pursuit final at the Commonwealth Games.

Bradley Wiggins leads England into the final
Bradley Wiggins leads England into the final

Wiggins joined Ed Clancy, Andy Tennant and Steven Burke to qualify second fastest at the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome, turning in a time of three minutes 59.249 seconds that looked well within their comfort zone.

That was still enough to send New Zealand and Canada into a battle for bronze, but the Australian quartet of Jack Bobridge, Luke Davison, Alex Edmondson and Glenn O'Shea flexed their muscles by bettering England's mark by over a second as they clocked 3mins 57.939secs.

Australia went last, and gave the look of front-runners, but it will all be up for grabs when the reigning Commonwealth gold medallists take on an England side featuring two of the current Olympic champions at the event in Clancy and Burke.

Wiggins, riding the team pursuit for only the second time in six years, looked particularly strong along with Clancy and will be eager to pocket gold having been controversially overlooked for this year's Tour de France by Team Sky.

Things did not appear so rosy in the men's sprint, where a sensational performance from the Australasian contingent left the home nations playing catch-up.

Triple Olympic champion Jason Kenny and fellow Englishman Matt Crampton squeezed into Friday's sprint quarter-finals having placed a disappointing 11th and 12th in qualifying.

Australian Matthew Glaetzer was the quickest of five men who lowered the previous Commonwealth record of 10.058secs, set by Shane Perkins in Delhi four years ago.

Glaetzer clocked 9.779secs and was too quick for Crampton when they met in the first-round head-to-heads.

Kenny was also beaten in the first round, by New Zealand's Ed Dawkins, though both he and Crampton managed to live another day courtesy of repechage wins.

Five of the six repechage riders came from the home nations, a result of a poor showing in the first round, meaning early exits for England's Olympic team sprint champion Philip Hindes, Welsh hope Lewis Oliva and Scotland's Callum Skinner.

Skinner's fellow Scots John Paul and Chris Pritchard failed to claim one of the 12 qualifying spots.

There will be gold this evening in the para-cycling tandem team sprint for England's Sophie Thornhill and Helen Scott or Scotland's Aileen McGlynn and Louise Haston.

Both qualified well before easing past Australian opposition in semi-final clean sweeps and will battle for top spot on the podium.


New Sky Bet customers: Free matched bet up to £30