The opening day of the 2014 UCI Track Cycling World Championships in Cali, Colombia begain with the qualifying session for the Men’s Team Pursuit. Over the last few years the event has been dominated by Great Britain and Australia – with Denmark, Russia and New Zealand never too far away.

Team Pursuit qualifying at the Velódromo Alcides Nieto Patiño in Cali, Colombia on Day 1 of the upcoming  UCI Track Cycling World Championships
The host nation were up first at the Velódromo Alcides Nieto Patiño and Juan Esteban Arango, Edwin Alcibiades Avila, Arles Antonio Castro and Fernando Gaviro set a time of 4:05.751. Belarus and Ukraine couldn’t close and Italy failed to overhaul them by just three tenths of a second.

The Belgian quartet of Jasper De Buyst, Kenny De Ketele, Moreno De Pauw and Jonas Rickaert did – by the same margin. They were followed on to the track by medal hopefuls New Zealand and Aaron gate, Pieter Bulling, Dylan Kennett and Marc Ryan clocked 4:02.056 to go well clear at the top.

Team Pursuit qualifying at the Velódromo Alcides Nieto Patiño in Cali, Colombia on Day 1 of the upcoming  UCI Track Cycling World Championships
They weren’t there for long with Artur Ershov, Evgeny Kovalev, Ivan Kovalev and Alexander Serov next up for Russia and four tenths quicker than the Kiwis on 4:01.615. Germany, Switzerland and Spain came and went before Denmark took over at the top. Casper Von Folsach, Lasse Norman Hansen, Rasmus Christian Quuade and Alex Rasmussen set a new track record with a 4:00.176.
Team Pursuit qualifying at the Velódromo Alcides Nieto Patiño in Cali, Colombia on Day 1 of the upcoming  UCI Track Cycling World Championships
The Great Britain squad was introduced as the World Record holders and Olympic champions and the crowd were appreciative. But the squad that lined up included only Ed Clancy of the riders that have dominated the event for so long. Under 23 riders Sam Harrison, Owain Doull and Jon Dibben had a lot to live up to and, perhaps, the pressure told.
Team Pursuit qualifying at the Velódromo Alcides Nieto Patiño in Cali, Colombia on Day 1 of the upcoming  UCI Track Cycling World Championships
Team Pursuit qualifying at the Velódromo Alcides Nieto Patiño in Cali, Colombia on Day 1 of the upcoming UCI Track Cycling World Championships

Harrison blew just after half distance with the team drifting steadily off the pace. It was a long way for three riders to battle it out and they finally stopped the clock at 4:04.419 – a time that would eventually see them in 8th place.

Only Australia could now knock Denmark off the top spot but Glenn O’Shea, Alexander Edmondson, Mitchell mulhern and Miles Scotson made a steady start – third fastest over the opening, kilometre, fourth on the second and third. They pulled some time back on the final four laps – closing out the 4000m in 4:01.516 to join Denmark in the Final with Russia and New Zealand riding for the Bronze.

This evening may well see the first Team Pursuit under four minutes at this track.

Men’s Team Pursuit Qualifying
1 Denmark (Casper VON FOLSACH, Lasse Norman HANSEN, Rasmus Christian QUAADE, Alex Nicki Sylvest RASMUSSEN) 4:00.176

2 Australia (Glenn O’SHEA, Alexander EDMONDSON, Mitchell MULHERN, Miles SCOTSON) 4:01.516

3 Russia (Artur ERSHOV, Evgeny KOVALEV, Ivan KOVALEV, Alexander SEROV) 4:01.615

4 New Zealand (Aaron GATE, Pieter BULLING, Dylan KENNETT, Marc RYAN) 4:02.056

5 Spain 4:02.648
6 Switzerland 4:02.934
7 Germany 4:04.230
8 Great Britain 4:04.419
9 Belgium 4:05.423
10 Colombia 4:05.751
11 Italy 4:06.165
12 Belarus 4:08.568
13 Ukraine 4:09.709

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