AFTER breaking the world record in April, Steven Burke knows that the Great Britain team pursuit quartet will face the pressure of being favourites for a gold medal at the Olympics.

But the Colne Cyclone believes their feat at the Track Cycling World Championships will give them vital confidence after insisting that Australia are one team who will certainly provide serious competition in London.

The qualification round takes place at the London Velopark on August 2, with the medal races held a day later.

Great Britain will be aiming to defend their title from the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, but Australia had seemed to be the form team at the start of the year after claiming victory at an event in London in February.

That was before Burke, Geraint Thomas, Ed Clancy and Pete Kennaugh defeated their main rivals in their own country to take the world record at the World Championships in Melbourne.

“It was the first time we had beaten the full Australian line-up since Beijing and I think it was very important that we did that before the Olympics,” said Burke, who was not involved in the team pursuit at the last Olympics but won a bronze medal in the individual pursuit.

“I’d had shingles a few weeks before we raced them in London and a few of us were still getting our track legs.

“But one of the Australian riders said they would have traded beating us in London for us beating them in their own back yard.

“To do that did give us confidence.”

The team’s new world record of three minutes 53.295 seconds surpassed the mark set by Great Britain in Beijing, but even that was only enough to secure victory by the narrowest of margins over Australia in Melbourne.

And Burke thinks they will have to break that world record again if they are to win gold at the Olympics.

“I won’t think about the fact that we are the favourites,” said the 24-year-old.

“I think we will have to break the record again. The Aussies are going to improve their pace.

“We know we are going to have to do it again to win gold.”

Burke is joined by Thomas, Clancy, Kennaugh and Andy Tennant in Great Britain’s endurance squad for the Olympics and one will ultimately miss out on a place on the track.

It would be something of a surprise, though, if the selectors made any change to the quartet that won in Melbourne.

Burke also competed in the kilometre time trial at the World Championships, finishing 10th in a hotly contested event.

That discipline is not currently an Olympic event but Burke could be interested in taking part if it is introduced in Rio in 2016.

“I think a lot of people are interested in it now because they might be bringing it in for Rio,” he said.

“It would depend on how things are with the team pursuit.”