HE WAS part of the team pursuit quartet who smashed records to win the world track cycling championship this year, but Steven Burke believes he and his Team GB colleagues will have to set a new benchmark if they are to claim Olympic gold at London 2012.
Burke, Geraint Thomas, Ed Clancy and Pete Kennaugh dramatically pipped Australia to the title on their own soil in April in a contest British cycling chief Dave Brailsford called “the best race I’ve ever seen”.
Less than two months from now they are confident of repeating that feat in the Olympic velodrome, although the 24-year-old Lancastrian, who rides for Team IG-Sigma Sport, concedes they will have to rewrite the record books for the second time this year.
“I think we’re going to have to break the world record again because every team will improve,” he told City A.M. “Every rider should be at their peak so we expect the world record to go.”
Burke, whose place in the Team GB squad is set to be officially announced next week, won bronze in the individual pursuit in Beijing four years ago and is targeting two more Olympic Games after this year.
World Championship glory tasted even sweeter, Burke says, having lost to Australia at the London 2012 test event just weeks previously, when he admits he was taken aback by the vociferous home support.
“It was so loud it was hard to communicate and shout down the line, we couldn’t hear each other. It was like a wall of noise following you around – it was awesome.”
Of revenge in Melbourne, he added: “It was sweet especially after they had done the same to us in the London 2012 test event in London. It’s a good boost especially a few months out from the Games.”