Italy's Olympic track pursuit team storm to world title

Roubaix (France) (AFP) – Italy won gold in the men's team pursuit at the track cycling world championships on Thursday confirming their status as new masters of the discipline after beating France in a tense final.

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In a cagey 4km struggle over the steep banked walls of the Roubaix velodrome the Olympic champions Italy, led by road race star Filippo Ganna, pounced with just two laps remaining to power clear and win by over two seconds.

The triumph is Italy's first in the event since 1997 and marks a power shift away from Great Britain and Australia, who have long dominated the discipline.

The 25-year-old Ineos rider Ganna led a youthful line up of Liam Bertazzo, Simone Consonni and Jonathan Milan, who were part of a four-man outfit that won gold in Tokyo, with Bertazzo preferred here in the world final to Olympic gold winner Francesco Lamon.

The three Olympic title winners were wearing gold helmets, which Olympic champions can do in all relevant races until the next Games.

Italy took 3min 47.192sec to win the title while Great Britain won the bronze medal race against Denmark.