Australians edge Britain in world pursuit epic

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LONDON: The long-standing rivalry between Australia and Britain continued in thrilling fashion in the track world championships team pursuit finals on Friday as the Australians recorded the second fastest time ever to win gold. A British team led by former Tour de France champion Bradley Wiggins, and roared on by a capacity 8,000-plus crowd at the Olympic velodrome, had to settle for silver against a winning team of Sam Welshford, Michael Hepburn, Callum and Miles Scotson. The Australians built a consistent early lead of between 0.6 and 0.7 seconds but a sterling effort by Ed Clancy, riding his first race since undergoing career-threatening back surgery 12 weeks ago, cut the advantage and Wiggins drove the hosts into the lead briefly before Clancy tailed off over the last lap. The winning time of 3 minutes 52.727 seconds was 1.1 seconds ahead of Britain and establishes Australia as favorites to win gold in the event in the Rio Olympics.

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