Ed Clancy admits that while Australia may have won the battle having claimed team pursuit victory at the London World Cup, the war won’t be over until the Olympic final on August 3.
Having qualified fastest, Australia’s quartet of Jack Bobridge, Rohan Dennis, Alexander Edmondson and Michael Hepburn stopped the clock in 3:54.615 minutes in the final, with Great Britain nearly two seconds adrift in 3:56.330.
And Clancy, who with current team-mate Geraint Thomas formed part of the quartet that won gold in Beijing, believes the Australians are in pole position ahead of April’s World Championships having drawn first blood in the capital.
“The Aussies had the better team out there tonight if we’re completely honest about it but we knew that after qualifying, we knew we were going to be up against it,” said Clancy.
“I think we all appreciate we are up against it this time and we’re riding against a superstar Aussie team this time – but that doesn’t mean we’re going to throw in the towel.
“If you look at the facts then this is the test event, there’s six months to go and nobody will remember the test event.
“We’re pretty confident we’ve got more to come. That doesn’t mean they haven’t but the big day will be the end of the war, this is just a bit of a battle en-route.”
Clancy was joined by Thomas, Peter Kennaugh and Steven Burke in the Olympic velodrome and the quartet will now travel to the worlds in Melbourne looking to strike back ahead of this summer’s Games.
Thomas is returning to the track having had two fine seasons on the road with Team Sky, enjoying stints in the Tour de France white jersey in both 2010 and 2011, and the Welshman believes it is only a matter of time before he is back in world-beating form on the boards.
Thomas said: “To be honest I was a bit disappointed with my own personal performance, I feel like I had a lot left at the end and that’s not really where you want to be.
“As a team that’s a good ride. If you look at the Euros then we didn’t go under four minutes and I’m confident I’m going to get back to where I was.
“I had a great year on the road last year and I’m just looking to get that strength back. By the World Championships in Melbourne we will have moved on, got a couple of seconds and go out there and beat them in their own back yard.”