Tag Archive for ‘Commonwealth Games’
We’d expected to be able to hang this interview on another English team pursuit gold in Glasgow – but not so. And for the first time since 2009 the GB team failed to make the podium in the track Worlds back in the spring – probably no big deal in the overall scheme of things where The Olympics are what really count to BC, these days.
How times change. The GB team pursuit Renaissance began in 2000 in Manchester and since then the men in the red, white and blue skinsuits – along with the Australians – have been the men to beat in this most precise and exacting of disciplines.
We were there, walking the streets and parks of Glasgow – until the Monsoons came and discretion became the better part of valour at which times the words of Doctor Samuel Johnson have never rang more true; ‘There is nothing which has yet been contrived by man, by which so much happiness is produced as by a good tavern or inn.’ Especially if it has an HD tele . . .
Here’s the VeloVeritas take on our day in Glasgow – the good and the not so good.
Essex boy Alex Dowsett proved that there is life after Sky with a brilliant time trial win in the Commonwealth Games event to add to his 2013 TT stage in the Giro, beating Aussie race favourite Rohan Denis into second and Wales Sky flyer Geraint Thomas into third on a blustery sunny Thursday afternoon around ‘The Dear Green Place’ that is Glasgow.
They say the watch doesn’t lie in a time trial but it can mislead you; Rohan had bested early leader Dowsett at the final time checks but as Dennis did his best Serhiy Honchar charging water buffalo impersonation and bludgeoned a mega gear home, losing seconds on every corner, sleek Walthamstow greyhound Dowsett kept the gears down and flew into Glasgow Green like a kermis king to grab gold.
Many times present on a major championship podium but never on the top step, New Zealand’s Linda Villumsen finally claimed her first gold medal today with a six second margin over former World Champion at the discipline Emma Pooley (England), riding her last time trial as a pro cyclist.
The bronze medal went to the German-born professional with Orica-AIS Katrin Garfoot, riding for Australia, who held off the strong late challenge from Kiwi Jaime Nielson by 16 seconds. In fifth place only one second further back was Scotland’s Katie Archibald, the 20-year-old showing her adaptability after racing last week on the track in the endurance events.
Despite being one of the youngest riders in the field, 19 year old New Zealander Anton Cooper proved to be the strongest and the savviest by surprising the two riders still with him heading towards the finish with a sudden and sharp acceleration off the front of the string to go clear with just a few hundred uphill metres remaining.
Teammate Samuel Gaze (himself only 18 years old) reacted quickly to pass Daniel McConnell (Australia) to take second place just three seconds behind Cooper, while it became clear the apparently still strong McConnell (who is currently fourth in the UCI MTB rankings) was in fact too tired to fight any more and he seemed happy enough to take the bronze.
Three times the cross country mountain bike event has been in the Commonwealth Games (introduced in 2002, it didn’t feature on the programme in Dehli four years ago) and three times Canada have topped the womens’ podium.
This time it was the turn of Catharine Pendrel, who took control of the race midway round the first of five laps and wasn’t challenged again, soloing to a 70 second win over her teammate Emily Batty, with Australian rider Rebecca Henderson third a further 12 seconds back, after a race-long battle with Batty.
Australia had another great day at the Sir Chris Hoy velodrome, collecting another five medals to add to the previous two days haul of ten, putting them top of the cycling table with six more than any other country.
For the second day in a row, the Men’s Para Tandem provided one of the most memorable moments. This time it was the Sprint competition and again it was the Scottish pair of Neil Fachie and Craig MacLean, winning the final two-matches-to-one and celebrating with their families whilst the crowd joined in singing to them, who brought the proceedings to a halt.
Highlight of the day at the Commonwealth Games 2014 velodrome was without doubt the gold medal won by Neil Fachie and Craig MacLean in the Para B2 Tandem Kilo Time Trial.
Going off last and fastest at every check, the pair were carried along by the enormous, ear-splitting roar from the full-capacity crowd, with lots of Scots but also a fair percentage of other nations too all voicing their support for the effort and spectacle.
It’s the first day of competition in the 2014 Commonwealth Games and the chat in the riders’ enclosure before the start of the first track cycling session was that Australia and New Zealand had brought a team at the top of their game – and it didn’t take long to become apparent this was true.
Australia dominated the first day in a packed Sir Chris Hoy velodrome in Glasgow, taking six medals back to the athletes’ village just down the road; two golds, a silver and three bronzes.
Brian is the man who won Scotland’s first cycling medal back in 1970 when the Commonwealth Games came to Edinburgh for the first time.
Australia and England were the top cycling nations in the competition with riders like Englishman Ian Hallam (who won the pursuit) and Australian John Nicholson (who won the sprint) and were expected to dominate the 10 mile; but a break comprising Vernon Stauble (Trinidad), Jocelyn Lovell (Canada) and Temple sneaked away from the Big Guns and stayed away. The youthful Lovell took the win – his first big international result en route to becoming a cycling legend – and Temple gave Stauble the slip to take home silver.
Brian recently took time to speak to VeloVeritas about his career.
We left Colin in Part One telling us about his time as a teenager racing in the Commonwealth Games and in the Olympics, and turning pro for the Belgian team ADR.
In Part Two we chat with Colin about his time with the top pro team Tulip Computers, his feelings about the emergence of the peloton’s use of EPO, fighting his way back into the highest levels of world pursuiting, his retirement and emigration, and his subsequent comeback with a number of British squads in the 90’s.
Colin Sturgess exploded on to the UK cycling scene in the 80’s – within a couple of seasons he was world professional pursuit champion. But his enormous potential was never full realised.
As part of our series talking to Olympians past and present, we bring you part one of ‘The Colin Sturgess Story.’
VeloVeritas spoke recently to Commonwealth Games Team Sprint Silver Medallist Charline Joiner after her ride at the Rotterdam Six Day.
Soup for breakfast? Welcome to the Peace Race.
Ivy CC stalwart Ken Clark took time to talk to VeloVeritas, and our resident Peace Race expert Ivan, about what it was like to ride the ‘Communist Tour de France.’ It was quite an adventure…
We left our Tour of Britain ‘catch up’ with Evan Oliphant until after the British track champs, on the off chance that he might break the BC/Sky/100% ME grip on affairs – fat chance.