The extremely successful Glasgow Commonwealth Games came to a close on Sunday; with the 11 proceeding days of events filled with plenty of highlights. There was plenty of success for all the home nations; but it was England who came out in top; providing the nation with a rare and treasured sporting victory.
The English medal haul of 174 – with 58 golds – saw them emerge victorious ahead of Australia with 137; and Canada with 82. There was plenty of cause for Scots to be proud as well; as they came in fourth with a 53-medal total. Wlaes were 13th with 36, whilst Nothern Ireland managed to secure 12 to gain 15th place.
The men’s and women’s cycling events brought plenty of happiness across all the board for Wales, England and Scotland; with the Isle of Man laying claim to a single silver medal – which they may have improved on had Mark Cavendish been fit.
Glory for Armistead
Lizzie Armistead and Emma Pooley did England proud in the women’s road race; securing gold and silver in a glorious one-two. After her victory, Armistead said: ‘This means I can call myself a champion and not a runner-up. I’m always on the podium but I don’t win that many races. It’s just a confidence thing.’
For 33-year-old Pooley, it was the final cycling race of her career; and a great way to bow out. She said of her silver: ‘I expected to be worked into the dust and finish last so it’s pretty special. Don’t ask me if I’m disappointed with silver – I’m not.’
Geraint Thomas Takes First Welsh Cycling Gold
In the men’s road race – despite saying that he ‘wasn’t fresh’ for the Commonwealth Games – Geraint Thomas became the first Welsh man to win a Commonwealth cycling gold. The event was raced in torrential downpours, with plenty of drama as Thomas looked to hold off the challenge of Jack Bauer and Scott Thwaites.
After the event, Thomas said: ‘I didn’t have that real zip and that real punch. If I had waited for the sprint at the end I would have come away with bronze. I knew I had to get a gap so fortunately I had good legs and was able to ride away. ‘
A puncture near the end threatened to cost him his medal: ‘Usually you have a team car following but because the gap was still quite small between me and the two chasers the car wasn’t allowed to come up to me. Luckily there was a neutral service guy on a motorbike with s spare wheel so I flagged him down.’
Home Nation Cycling Medals Across the Board
In the Men’s Individual Time Trial, it was England’s Alex Dowsett who claimed gold, with Thomas claiming another medal – this time bronze. Jason Kenny secured English silver in the men’s sprint, with the English men’s 4000m team pursuit team also securing silver.
In the women’s 35km points race; there was a fascinating home nation 1-2-3 – with England coming out on top. Laura Trott took the gold, with Elinor Barker of Wales taking silver and Katie Archibald of Scotland taking bronze for the home nation.
Jess Varnish took home two more bronze medals for England; with excellent races in the women’s 500m time trial and women’s sprint. Emma Pooley secured silver in the women’s individual time trial; and there was gold for England from Joanna Rowsell in the women’s 3000m individual pursuit.
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Joy In the Para-Sport Events
In the para-sport events there was even more home nation joy. Sophie Thornhill took gold and Aileen Mcgylnn tool silver in both the 1000m time trail B2 tandem; and the Sprint B2 tandem. For Scotland, Neil Fachie impressively took gold in both the men’s 1000m time trail B2 tandem and the Sprint B2 tandem.
Cavendish Set to Return This Month
Mark Cavendish is set to make his eagerly anticipated return at the Tour de l’Ain this month; following his disappointing first stage exit from the Tour de France. In a well publicized crash during the sprint finish; the Manx Missile dislocated his shoulder and suffered ligament damage; forcing his withdrawal from the race.
He told the BBC that ‘The Tour de l’Ain will be important to see where I am at with my training. The rest of my programme will be decided 100% after Tour de l’Ain depending on how I feel during that race. Together with the team we will then discuss how to approach the rest of the season.
He went on to say that he needed ‘to focus on completing my specific block of training in Italy before returning to competition at the Tour de l’Ain.
Prudential Ride London-Surrey Classic This Sunday
Cavendish will be one of the names to miss the Prudential Ride London-Surrey Classic this Sunday (10thAugust). The event – which will continue the recent trend of UK Cycling euphoria – will see Bradley Wiggins return to the road.
Other big names competing will include the likes of Mark Renshaw, Simon Yates, Scott Thwaites and Ian Stannard. The women’s field is every bit as exciting; and will include Commonwealth Games gold medalist Lizzie Armitage.
Did Anyone Attend the Glasgow Commonwealth Games
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A Word About Our Sponsor
It is important to stay safe whilst you are out cycling and at Wheelie Good Guys we are champions of cycling safety. None of the work we do however; would be possible without the help if Ian Brown. Ian is the UK Cycling Speedway Commissioner; as well as a personal injury solicitor for Wosskow Brown.