Host City: Sochi, Russia
Venue(s): Adler-Arena, Coastal Cluster, Adler
Date Started: February 21, 2014
Date Finished: February 22, 2014
Format: Single-elimination event.
Since the team pursuit gained World Championship status in 2005, the Dutch had won all but one edition (the US claimed gold in 2011). At the Olympics, however, the Netherlands had failed to move past the semi-finals, winning bronze in both 2006 and 2010. For Sochi, they had made the team pursuit a priority, dedicating training time to the event and assigning a specific pursuit coach. Earlier in the season, the Dutch had won all three races, and their individual performances in Sochi seemed to predict another victory. All other seven competing nations seemed capable of medalling, with the sole exception of France, especially as its strongest rider, [Alexis Contin], was suffering from hyperthyroidism.
The Dutch dismissal of France in the quarter-finals was not surprising, but the fact that the US and Russia were soundly beaten by Canada and Korea respectively, was unexpected. Poland was the fourth semi-finalist, eliminating Norway. The Poles then faced the Netherlands in the semi-finals, and essentially threw in the towel, recording the slowest time of the field save France. The Koreans, led by [Lee Seung-Hun], overcame the defending Olympic champions Canada to meet the Netherlands in the final. In that race, Korea kept equal pace with the Dutch for the first 3 laps, before being overwhelmed. The Dutch team didn't slow down and broke the Olympic Record in 3:37.71. The Dutch victory had a minor blemish. Reserve skater [Jorrit Bergsma], Olympic champion in the 10,000 m, withdrew from the team shortly before the final, apparently disappointed about not being allowed to race and earn a medal.
In the bronze medal final, Poland trailed Canada for most of the race. Canadian sprinter [Denny Morrison] faded near the end, allowing Poland to take the bronze. The Canadians later commented on Poland lacking a )go for gold) mentality and profiting by being less fatigued in the B final.