Track World Championships: GB men's pursuit team will take on Australia in final
Last Updated: 20/02/13 1:02pm
Steven Burke: leads the way for GB pursuit team in Minsk
Olympic champions Great Britain began the defence of their Track World Championships men's team pursuit title by qualifying second fastest to arch-rivals Australia in the opening session of competition at the Minsk Arena.
Olympic champions Ed Clancy and Steven Burke were joined in the line-up for the four-kilometre event by 2012 world champion Andy Tennant and Sam Harrison, who won world bronze in 2011 aged 18.
Riding last of 15 teams, the quartet clocked three minutes 59.784 seconds, narrowly behind Australia, the world and Olympic silver medallists in 2012, whom they will meet in Wednesday evening's final.
Glenn O'Shea, Alex Edmondson, Michael Hepburn and Alex Morgan finished in 3mins 59.325secs.
Denmark (4:00.841) will meet Spain (4:04.587) for bronze, while Russia (4:04.840) were fifth fastest, missing out on a medal ride after one rider crashed little more than two laps into the 16-lap event.
In the first World Championships since the London Olympics, Britain fielded a strong line-up, blended with youth.
Clancy, Burke, Geraint Thomas and Peter Kennaugh won London 2012 in a world record of 3:51.659, with Tennant an unused reserve, therefore missing out on a medal.
World record holder Sarah Hammer of the United States qualified fastest in the women's 3km individual pursuit, clocking 3:30.206.
Hammer will meet Amy Cure in the final after the Australian's heat ride of 3:33.366. Ireland's Caroline Ryan missed out on a medal ride, placing fifth in 3:38.269.