Australian Jack Bobridge claimed his second national individual pursuit title in emphatic style Tuesday, setting the third fastest time ever for the 4km event, Cycling Australia announced.
Bobridge, the reigning world U23 time trial champion and new signing for Team Garmin, posted a stunning time of 4min 14.427sec on his way to qualifying for the gold medal ride-off.
The world record for the 16-lap event is held by Britain’s Chris Boardman, who clocked 4:11.114 on his way to the world title in Manchester in 1996 after setting a qualifying time of 4:13.353. But both of Boardman’s times were set using an aerodynamically superior stretched position that has since been banned by the International Cycling Union (UCI).
Now the fastest man in the world under current rules, Bobridge’s ride knocked 0.6sec off the time set by Welsh cyclist Gerraint Thomas at the Manchester round of the World Cup last year.
His time was also faster than the Olympic record set by Britain’s reigning Olympic Champion Bradley Wiggins in Beijing.
Bobridge went on to win the final against the equally impressive Rohan Dennis, 19, an achievement the 20-year-old said was down to his decision not to go full gas at the Tour Down Under road race last week.
“This year at the Tour Down Under, I held myself back a lot and came out here a lot fresher as I have shown that with my times I have produced here,” said Bobridge.
“Honestly I don’t think I am 100 percent fit yet, still a little bit off, which is a good feeling for myself knowing I have 6-7 weeks until the world championships in Copenhagen.”
This year’s world track cycling championships will be held on the Ballerup track, just outside Copenhagen.
Bobridge will likely face stiff competition from the Danish hosts, Britain and the American who beat him to the world gold last year, Taylor Phinney.
However Bobridge hinted there is plenty more to come.
“Considering I have only done three sessions on the track leading into these Championships, I have come out today and surprised myself.”
© AFP 2010
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