Aussies too strong for English quartet

Steven Burke, third in line, joins Sir Bradley Wiggins, Ed Clancy and Andy Tennant on their way to a silver medal in Glasgow

Steven Burke, third in line, joins Sir Bradley Wiggins, Ed Clancy and Andy Tennant on their way to a silver medal in Glasgow

First published in Sport Lancashire Telegraph: Photograph of the Author by , Sports Editor

STEVEN Burke is set to get a second chance to go for gold today in the individual pursuit after claiming a silver medal on the opening day of competition in the Commonwealth Games.

Burke and his England team-mates, including Chorley’s Sir Bradley Wiggins, had to settle for silver in the team pursuit as they were outclassed by Australia who took gold in games record time.

But Colne’s Burke is slated to ride again today with qualifying for the individual pursuit beginning at 11am before the medal rounds get under way from 4pm.

Burke is a regular in the team pursuit but rides the individual event less frequently – although he did win Olympic bronze in the 2008 Beijing games.

He will hope to bounce back from his efforts in the team event where he helped England qualify as second fastest in three minutes 59.249 seconds behind Australia.

But the Aussies lowered the bar in the final to win in three minutes 54.851 to take gold with England a little over five seconds behind in second.

Despite the disappointment Burke believes the foursome – who are likely to be the starting squad for the Great Britain Olympic team – can respond with a gold in Rio in two years time.

And he cites Britain’s eighth place in the World Championships in Colombia earlier this year, which Burke, Wiggins and Tennant all missed, as a sign of how the squad is progressing.

“It’s an improvement on the World’s,” said Burke. “Things are on the up but we’ve got a lot of work to do. We know that for sure.

“I am 100 per cent confident we can improve and set the record straight in two years time.”

Wiggins, riding the team pursuit for only the second time in six years, stated his intention to commit to the team pursuit squad on the path to Rio, while combining it with his duties on the road for Team Sky.

“The track was always what I was going to go back to,” said Wiggins.

“I think we can look back on this in two years hopefully with gold medals around our necks and say this was the starting point.

“You can’t win all the time. I am not going to under-estimate the event. It’s going to be two years of graft now and I cannot under-estimate how much work it is going to take.”

Elsewhere, England’s Jess Varnish took bronze in the 500m time trial as Australia’s Anna Mears won gold while England’s team sprint squad took silver behind world champions New Zealand.

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