Aussie cyclists lower world mark to claim gold

Australia has claimed the men's team pursuit bragging rights from archrivals England with a world record ride to triumph at the Commonwealth Games.

Kelland O'Brien replaced Jordan Kerby in the quartet that qualified fastest earlier in the day, teaming with Leigh Howard, Alex Porter and Sam Welsford to win Australia's second of three track cycling gold medals at Brisbane's Anna Meares Velodrome.

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Australia slowly overpowered the English riders and flew home in three minutes 49.804 seconds - shaving nearly half a second off the 3:50.265 record which Great Britain set in Rio two years ago.

In winning, Australia issued a firm reminder that they are a force to be reckoned with in the team pursuit after controversially skipping a defence of their title at February's world championships in the Netherlands.

That decision was made by Simon Jones, Cycling Australia's new high-performance chief who made the Gold Coast a priority as a dress-rehearsal for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

It appears to have paid off handsomely, with the Aussies re-asserting their dominance at the first available opportunity against an England team that included three members of the Great Britain from the Rio Games.

"There's definitely been some big changes since he's come on board and we've gone faster, it's as simple as that," Howard said.

"I think change is always going to cause some criticism but I think he's the sort of guy who's happy to take the blame, whether it's his fault or not and that' what a true leader does."

Howard said the team had already started thinking of their battle with Great Britain in Tokyo.

"Bring it on, we're ready," he said.

"One hundred percent that's the next big goal for us; once we get the next three days over with it's Tokyo all the way. "

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