COLNE Cyclone Steven Burke roared his way to an Olympic gold medal last night – carving out yet another world record in the process.

Cheered on by a capacity crowd, the Team GB men’s team pursuit quartet of Burke, Ed Clancy, Geraint Thomas and Pete Kennaugh crossed the line in 3:51.659 minutes, leaving silver medallists Australia in another time zone.

Expectation was high after a world record in qualifying and they duly delivered, shattering it again when it mattered.

The Brits crossed the line in 3:51.659 minutes, leaving silver medallists Australia in another time zone as Thomas and Clancy successfully defended their crowns while Burke and Kennaugh tasted gold for the first time – and Bradley Wiggins watched on in awe in the jam-packed London 2012 Velodrome. Perhaps the only surprise was that the British quartet did not set a world record in the first round yesterday, coming home 0.244 seconds slower than their time 24 hours previous – but it was something they put right just a few hours later.

“I was in the zone, I wasn’t thinking about the crowd or the noise but the moment I went over the finish line you knew they were there,” said Burke, 24, a former Park High School student.

“At the moment the overwhelming feeling is one of relief. We knew we were among the favourites but I didn’t want to put too much pressure on myself.

“I’ve been so nervous for the last few days but I tried to turn that into positive energy.

“I’m in the form of my life and I feel really strong. I certainly think we can still go faster.”

Four years ago Burke won individual pursuit bronze as a 20-year old - a surprise medal he didn’t even think was possible.

However, he admitted the weight of expectation was tough to handle as a capacity crowd arrived demanding nothing less than gold.

“This is such a different feeling from Beijing,” he said. “I was really disappointed to miss out on selection for the team pursuit but then got a chance to ride in an event I’d not prepared for and won a bronze.

“There was no expectation on me, no-one really knew who I was and because I won bronze in the event that Bradley won gold in, I didn’t get much attention really.

“This time was totally different, there is an expectation from the fans now that this is a gold medal British cyclists should be winning. We felt that and it was a big responsibility.”

Burke admits he became a little disillusioned after Beijing after every other member of the quartet moved on in a different direction - Thomas and Wiggins focusing on the road and Paul Manning moving into coaching.

But Burke, like Clancy a track specialist with no current aspirations to move onto the road, believes the future is bright.

“I think there’s a strong possibility that Mark Cavendish will join the team pursuit for Rio and I think he would be awesome at the event,” he said.

“Geraint has said that he is retiring from the track but I think we could tempt him back for Rio if we tried hard.

“We’ve got a great team spirit and long may it continue. It’s nice to have a gold to go with my bronze but it would also be nice to have another one.”

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