Boardman congratulates Bobridge on world record pursuit ride
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Thursday, February 3, 2011

Boardman congratulates Bobridge on world record pursuit ride

by Samuel Morrison at 5:06 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Track
'He has absolutely smashed the conventional world record'

Former British pro Chris Boardman has congratulated Jack Bobridge on breaking his 15-year-old individual pursuit record. Bobridge beat Boardman's time by nearly one second yesterday at the Australian track national championships, stunning the cycling world.

"That ride and that time is an absolutely phenomenal achievement and I can only offer warm congratulations to Jack. He hasn't just beaten my Superman mark, he has absolutely smashed the conventional world record by nearly four seconds," Boardman told Telegraph Sport. "It's a real jaw dropper."

Boardman set his record at the World Championships in 1996. He rode four kilometres in a time of four minutes and 11.114 seconds. The Englishman's mark was thought to be untouchable since he obtained it with the now-banned Superman position, as invented by Graeme Obree.

Britain’s Bradley Wiggins set a time of 4:15.031 at the Beijing Olympics in 2008, then compatriot Geraint Thomas rode 4:15.015 in October 2009, and Bobridge lowered the mark to 4:14.427 at last year's Australian Championships.

The record appeared breakable when Rohan Dennis rode a time of 4:13.399 yesterday in qualifications. Bobridge, 21, then smashed Boardman's record.

"In truth until I woke up to the news, I hadn't thought about the record in a long while," added Boardman. "Although we are all aware that Australians have an exceptional generation coming through and, as well as the team pursuit, they still carry a torch for the old IP [individual pursuit] at World and Commonwealth Games level and race it very seriously.

"They have been egging each other on and from that pool of talent has emerged this quite exceptional ride."

The Brits, the Aussies and US star Taylor Phinney won't have a chance to show off their talent at the 2012 Olympics. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) approved an International Cycling Union (UCI) recommendation in December 2009 to remove the event. The UCI and IOC want to equalise the number of men's and women's events.

"The drama of an Olympic shoot-out in London between the world's best would have been incredible," said Boardman.

"I fully support the equalisation of the sexes the UCI introduced and I do appreciate that there probably had to be radical change in the programme for that to happen, but dropping the IP was an incredibly ill-considered decision...a knee-jerk reaction."


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