Bradley Wiggins was unable to inspire England to a Commonwealth Games gold medal in the team pursuit final, with Australia claiming victory in the 4000m discipline by a comprehensive margin.
Wiggins returned to the track to represent his country having been left out of Team Sky’s group of riders for this year’s Tour de France, but the most decorated cyclist in British history was unable to clinch the medal he so craved.
A silver medal
England, of course, did claim silver in Glasgow, with Wiggins alongside Ed Clancy, Andy Tennant and Steven Burke, but their prospects of the gold were quickly extinguished by a dominant Australian quartet.
The world champions were able to confirm their status as the top combination in the sport from the early stages of the final, with Australia managing to streak to a 1.4 second lead after only 750 metres ridden in the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome.
Luke Davison dropped out with plenty of work still to be done, but the Australian trio of Jack Bobridge, Alex Edmondson and Glenn O'Shea strained every sinew to ensure they got over the line in a Commonwealth Games record time.
Hoy gives his verdict
"When Australia were down to three men we thought England might be back in with a chance but that's an incredible performance from Australia,” Sir Chris Hoy, working as a pundit for BBC Sport, said after the race.
“It's sent a message out certainly. England will be disappointed. It's not all about Bradley Wiggins, it's a team effort. It's a silver medal but still a medal nonetheless."
Back to the road for Wiggins?
It was something of a thrashing in cycling terms as Australia finished five seconds ahead of England, and it may lead Wiggins to question his desire to return to the track on a full-time basis in the lead up to the next Olympics.
Wiggins has expressed a want to represent Great Britain in Rio in 2016, although this first go on the track since switching to the road could serve as something of a wake-up call.
It is a silver medal, nevertheless, for a team that has not been together for particularly long, and a more sustained spell of competitive racing could ensure Wiggins can add to his Olympic haul of seven medals in two years.
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