Well, they didn’t break the world record – in fact they didn’t qualify fastest – but Great Britain will still go into tonight’s team pursuit final against Denmark as favourites.

Great Britain bid to defend their world championship title in Manchester against an ever-improving Denmark, who have emerged as a major threat this winter.

Denmark’s time of 3-57.784 stood a spirited challenge from the Brits, who rode 3-58.983.

They were good times and suggest the Australian world record of 3-56.610, set at the Athens Olympics four years ago, could be under threat in the final.

Bradley Wiggins rode the qualifying round with Ed Clancy, Paul Manning and Geraint Thomas and it is expected they’ll put out the same four tonight.

If Britain versus Denmark is the battle of the northern hemisphere for a gold medal, the two south hemisphere nations, New Zealand and Australia will ride for bronze.

Australia’s time of 4-00.947 looked good until the New Zealanders went a fraction quicker and the Danes wiped it away.

In fact it was only a surprisingly poor ride by last year’s silver medallists, Ukraine – who could manage only tenth place of the 12 teams – that squeezed the Aussies into the medal race.

Wiggins was satisfied but not totally pleased with the British team’s ride.

?We were second but we had our schedule and just rode that to get to the final,” he told Cycling Weekly after warming down.

“We tried not to get too fazed by the time of the Danes although it is a fantastic time. We did what we had to do to get in the final, a but like I did yesterday. It?ll be interesting tonight and it?s no surprise that they?re in the final.

“I was a bit edgy because I didn?t know how I was going to be after last night. Now it?s sh*t or bust. We?ll just go out there and get stuck in and see what happens.”

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