Host City: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Venue(s): Rio Olympic Velodrome, Barra Olympic Park, Barra da Tijuca, Rio de Janeiro
Date Started: August 11, 2016
Date Finished: August 13, 2016
The team pursuit evolved after the London Olympics from a three woman, 3000 metre event to a four woman, 4000 metre event although, in the early part of the Olympic cycle, this only meant that the reigning Olympic champions from Great Britain had even more of an advantage over the rest of the world than before. As the Rio Games approached, however, they seem to have been overtaken by Australia and then by the USA.
When the teams finally hit the track it became apparent this was to be a two horse race. Great Britainâs first ride saw them lower the world record, but the Americans were equally impressive and set the third best time ever to trail by just a fraction over a second. The next round saw the world record fall twice in consecutive heats. The Americans took a second off the record to reach the final, but the British went a tenth of a second faster again.
This set up the final to be a classic. The Americans started quickest, with [Sarah Hammer] leading the team out and opening an early lead of half a second as their British rivals took a while to get going somewhat because of their choice of enormous gears. At the 1750m mark, just short of the halfway point, the British finally overhauled their opponents and began to pull away. When the clock stopped on the British it read 4:10.236 and meant they had taken two more seconds from the world record. The American time was the fourth fastest ever and would have been an outright world record if set 20 hours earlier.