STEVEN Burke launched his new season in the best possible fashion, snatching the national one kilometre time trial for the first time.

Runner-up to British team mate Matt Crampton 12 months ago, Burke set a new lifetime best at Manchester’s National Cycling Centre to claim the crown.

The 21-year-old Olympic Games individual pursuit bronze medallist showed excellent speed to clock a lifetime best of 62.604 seconds for the four-lap race.

And that was just enough to deny Beijing team pursuit gold medallist, Ed Clancy, top spot on the podium.

“I didn’t expect that,” smiled Burke who will defend his 4km individual pursuit title later in the week.

“I thought I was going to get third to be honest. I hadn’t thought about winning it.

“David Daniell clocked 61.00 at the World Cup last year and Ed is normally quicker than me.

“But training has gone well in the last couple of weeks and I’ve been in reasonable form.

“Everything worked out how I wanted to on the night,” added Burke, who has been named in Britain’s squad for the UCI Track World Cup on the same track later in the month.

However, he won’t be concentrating on an event that brought Olympic gold for Chorley’s Jason Queally in 2000 and Sir Chris Hoy four years later.

The kilo remains a world championship discipline but has been axed from the Olympic track schedule.

Burke’s priority remains the pursuit where he hopes to emulate the achievements of Chorley-based Bradley Wiggins.

However, he insists he’s not favourite for the gruelling 4000 metres race.

“I will try and get on the podium but it’s going to be tough,” he said.

“Geraint Thomas is favourite, in my book.”