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Burke's fab four storm home
9:07am Monday 2nd November 2009 in Steven Burke
STEVEN Burke’s patience was rewarded last night as Britain’s pursuiters refused to be overshadowed by their sprint team mates.
The Colne star was denied a ride in the individual event and watched Welshman Geraint Thomas clock the second fastest time ever for the 4km distance.
But the Beijing Olympic individual bronze medallist joined Thomas, Ed Clancy and late replacement Andy Tennant for the team event.
And the ‘fab four’ proved far too strong for the Spanish quartet in a one-sided final at Manchester’s National Cycling Centre.
They caught the Spaniards at three-quarter distance and went on to stop the clock at 3mins 54.395 seconds.
“It’s the second fastest of all time so we’re really pleased,” said the 21-year-old national 1km champion.
“The second round we went out on a 3:56 schedule so we were hoping for a 56 or hopefully sneak a 55.
“But to get 3:54 is unbelievable really. We also had to qualify really early this morning so to do a 3:57 that early and just out of bed was unexpected.
“We planned to catch the Spaniards at the end of our second turn so it worked out about right.
“In fact, everything worked out perfectly really on the day. The exciting thing is that not everyone is on top form.
“So, I think the world record’s going to go in the next couple of years at least, hopefully to us.”
Despite his individual success in China, Burke wasn’t part of the quartet that established the benchmark time of 3:53.314.
However, with Paul Manning now retired and Chorley based Bradley Wiggins concentrating on a road career, Burke is very much part of the future.
And he was delighted to play his part in Britain’s success at the opening World Cup event of the new series after kicking his heels for the previous two days.
“It’s been boring in the hotel,” he admitted. “All you can do is rest and go on your laptop.
“Normally, the team pursuit is on the second day of the World Cup, which isn’t too bad.
“But when you have seen all your team-mates out there, winning medals, you want to get out there and have a go yourself.”
Team GB collected 10 of the 17 gold medals on offer plus four silvers and a solitary bronze.
Four time Olympic champion, Sir Chris Hoy claimed three of them.
Lizzie Armitstead, Wendy Houvenaghel and Jo Rowsell established a new world record for the women’s team pursuit of 3:21.875.