By Michael Pavitt

Australia's women's team pursuiters celebrate smashing the world record on the way to gold ©Getty ImagesAustralia shattered the world record for the women's 4,000 metres team pursuit on their way to gold at the Track Cycling World Championships in Paris, a result which ended Great Britain's four-year unbeaten streak in the event.

The team pursuit event was always going to be a highlight of the second day of action at the Vélodrome de Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, after Australia's women posted the fastest time in yesterday's qualifying, to set down a marker for the British team, who had held the world title since 2011.

Britain's quartet of Elinor Barker, Katie Archibald, Joanna Rowsell and Laura Trott responded in first round, with their time of 4min 16.976sec just outside of their previous world record, to defeat Canada and progress to the final, where they were set to meet the Australian's after they comfortably overcame New Zealand.

But the Australian team of Annette Edmondson, Amy Cure, Ashlee Ankudinoff and Melissa Hoskins set a blistering pace at the start of the final, putting the British firmly on the back foot, more so when Rowsell pulled off with around 1,500m remaining.

It left Archibald, Barker and Trott with too much to do to retain their title, despite a valiant effort, that saw them finish just outside the previous world record of 4:16.552 and earn silver, while the Australian's took three seconds off the mark, to finish in 4:13.683.

The record was made more impressive by the fact that the previous time had been set at altitude, in Mexico, which generally aids faster times, with this result showing that the discipline is continuing to evolve having altered from a three woman team to four back in 2013.

In the bronze medal race, Canada overcame New Zealand, however the Kiwis were able to celebrate gold in the men's competition, with their quartet of Alex Frame, Dylan Kennett, Pieter Bulling and Marc Ryan overcoming the British team in a thrilling final.

New Zealand edged Britain in a thrilling men's team pursuit final ©Getty ImagesNew Zealand edged Britain in a thrilling men's team pursuit final ©Getty Images

It appeared that the reigning Olympic champions Britain were going to claim the world title in the closing stages of the race, with their team of Andy Tennant, Ed Clancy, Owain Doull and Steven Burke producing a vastly improved display than in last year's competition.

Powerful turns on the last couple of laps, however, turned the race in the New Zealand team's favour and they were able to outsprint the British team to the line, finishing in 3:54.088 just 0.5sec ahead of their rivals.

Australia were able to secure bronze, with their quartet noticeably containing Jack Bobridge, who narrowly missed out on breaking the men's hour record just a couple of weeks ago.

Yesterday, France's victorious team sprinter's collected their gold medals in front of a half-empty crowd, believing they had won silver prior to New Zealand's relegation, but they were sure to stay watching tonight's action with Francois Pervis competing.

Pervis was the star of 2014 World Championships in Cali, Colombia, and home favourite took to the boards of the newly opened velodrome to defend his men's keirin crown.

The 31-year-old did not disappoint an expectant crowd, moving through the rounds before powering to the defence of one of the three titles he won last year, while New Zealand's Edward Dawkins claimed silver and Malaysia's Azizulhasni Awang earned bronze.

Francois Pervis retained his men's keirin world title in front of a home crowd ©Getty ImagesFrancois Pervis retained his men's keirin world title in front of a home crowd ©Getty Images

The women's 500m time trial, one of the events not part of the Olympic programme, saw Anastasia Voynova of Russia earn gold with a time of 33.149sec, to improve of on her bronze medal finish at last year's event.

Also on the podium in the discipline last year was Germany's defending champion Miriam Welte and Australia's legendary sprinter Anna Meares, taking and silver and bronze. 

For Meares it was silver for the second consecutive year, while Welte had finished in the bronze medal position 12 months ago. 

In the men's scratch race, raced over 15 kilometres, Germany's Lucas Liβ earned victory, firstly engineering a move with 23 laps of the track remaining.

His tactics paid off as he was able to take gold seeing off the remaining competition in the final laps, with Albert Torres Barcelo of Spain and Bobby Lea of the United States trailing him home, to take silver and bronze respectively.

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