Chorley’s Sir Bradley Wiggins praised Great Britain’s team spirit after they won men’s team pursuit gold – giving him a fifth Olympic gold medal.
Britain’s Ed Clancy, Steven Burke, Owain Doull and Wiggins clocked a world record of three minutes 50.570 seconds in the first round of the four-man, four-kilometres event.
Australia advanced to the final while keeping Jack Bobridge in reserve, having so far not shown their full hand. And the perennial rivals slugged it out for gold.
Britain were trailing until 500m to go, when a huge roar erupted from the numerous Britons in the crowd. And Britain surged on to win gold in a world record of 3mins 50.265secs.
Australia’s Alex Edmondson, Michael Hepburn, Sam Welsford and Bobridge clocked 3mins 51.008secs.
It was Britain’s third straight Olympic title in the event, which Wiggins and Clancy also won at the 2008 Games in Beijing.
Bronze went to Denmark ahead of New Zealand.
Britain beat their own world record – of 3:51.659 set in winning gold at London 2012 – in the first round, effectively a semi-final, which took place 80 minutes prior to the final.
Wiggins said: “Really the last 12 months we’ve pretty much done everything together, training camps at altitude, early-morning starts at the track, late finishes at the track before Christmas Day, all for this.
“And we’re here and we’ve done it. These four guys here – I would never have come back if we didn’t have the calibre. I’ve always said Ed and Burkey, for me, are two of the most underrated athletes I’ve ever raced with.”