Saturday, August 16, 2008

(BEIJING, August 16) -- Bradley Wiggins of Great Britain became the first cyclist to repeat as Olympic champion in the Men's Individual Pursuit in the Laoshan Velodrome on Saturday.

A big pre-race favorite to defend his Athens 2004 Olympic crown, Wiggins stopped the clock in 4:16.977 to leave Hayden Roulston of New Zealand (4:19.611) with the silver.

Steven Burke, also from Great Britain, won bronze by erasing Russian Alexei Markov's early advantage. Burke claimed bronze in 4:20.947 to Markov's 4:24.149.

Wiggins, who set an Olympic record in qualifying on Friday, August 15, at 4:15.031, overcame a fast start by Roulston to win his fifth career Olympic medal.

Champion Wiggins makes history as he cycles to gold
Bradley Wiggins poses with his gold medal. (Photo credit: Hou Deqiang/Xinhua)

Roulston gave him a stout challenge, holding Wiggins at just 0.002sec at 2,500m. Wiggins powered ahead in the final kilometer to win by more than two seconds. Roulston's medal is New Zealand's second-ever medal in Olympic Cycling Track competition in the Men's Individual Pursuit. Gary Anderson won bronze at Barcelona 1992.

American Taylor Phinney, the youngest Cycling Track athlete in Beijing at 18, started fast against Roulston in the first round, but faded later on to finish seventh.

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