BORDEAUX, France: Australia were savouring sweet revenge after beating defending champions Britain in the final of the men's team pursuit here at the world track cycling championships yesterday.
Ukraine held off the Netherlands to win the bronze medal in their match for third place claiming their first world medal in the event since their victory in 2001.
Britain had beaten Australia - the reigning Olympic champions - in Los Angeles last year, and England then soured their hopes of winning gold in front of their home fans at the recent Commonwealth Games in Melbourne.
This time, the world record-holding Aussies used a mix of experience and youth to turn the tables, and did so despite losing Stephen Wooldridge earlier than they would have liked in what turned out to be a tight 4,000-metre race.
Peter Dawson, Matthew Goss, and Mark Jamieson continued the final three laps of the 250-metre track on their own to pip Britain, who had also lost a rider near the finish, and claim their fourth gold in the event inside a decade, Olympic champion Dawson, who has been part of all of those title-winning teams, admitted it was the sweetest of his four victories at the world championships.
In what must be one of the tighest finishes in a world championship final, the Aussies' time of 4:01.491 just pipped Britain's time of 4:01.527.
"That was the closest world title I've known, and to come out on top is just fantastic," said Dawson.