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Ed Clancy disappointed with team pursuit result

Josh Cunningham
4 Mar 2016

Ed Clancy says poor final lap performance cost Team GB the gold medal in the team pursuit at the London Track World Championships.

With one lap to go in the men's team pursuit final at the Track World Championships, Great Britain held a 0.143 second lead over long-time rivals Australia. But when the finish gun fired it was Australia who had won with a time of 3:52.727, with the three remaining British riders coming home 1.129 seconds later. We spoke to Ed Clancy to find out what happened in the closing stages. 

‘It’s tough when you lose it in the last lap like that. I put in two good turns, but it was me who lost the race. I lost the wheel and despite the fact I’d committed to two big turns early on, that was the strategy and unfortunately it doesn’t always go to plan,' Clancy told Cyclist while at a bike launch with his Condor-JLT trade team. 'We analyse everything, look at who’s gone well in training, and I genuinely feel that was the best line up we had in the final.'

GB team on the last lap of the team pursuit at the London 2016 World Track Championships

Clancy slipped a disc in his back in a bizarre accident at the Tour of Britain last year that involved picking up a suitcase, and was forced to have surgery. For a while he didn't even know if he'd be able to resume his cycling career, but after a 12-week recovery period he quite remarkably found himself in the line up for the team pursuit final, along with Sir Bradley Wiggins, Owain Doull and Jonathan Dibben. 

‘The strategy was to do a 12.5 second opening (half) lap and deliver the team on 14.0 second (full) laps, which I did spot on despite having not gone first man in training at all since my back surgery.'

But Clancy suggests he wasn't expecting to be riding in the final at all: 'I was put in the deep end because Burkey [Steven Burke] was struggling all week, so that was a bit of a gamble [putting Clancy in the team]. But it worked well.’

‘I did a good stint on my second turn and I was praying that was that,' he says of his part in the race. 'But when I saw the front again on that last turn I just didn’t have the legs. Ordinarily, if I was at full fitness, I like to think I could have thrown in a quick half lap, got back in and hung on, but last night I tried to get out of the way as quick as possible and get on the back, but I just couldn’t hold on. I had nothing left.'

‘We still went as quick as we went over the whole competition but the Aussies stepped it up better than we did and that was that,' Clancy concludes. 'Disappointing to be honest, but if you think about what we’ve come from and where we can still go ahead of July, I think it’s still pretty positive.’ 

The Track World Championship is not yet over, so check out our guide for the remainder of this weekend's racing here: Track World Championships event guide

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