Commonwealth Games coverage
Published: 31 July 2014
Written by: Eddie Allen
Image: Alex Broadway/SWpix.com
England’s Alex Dowsett took gold in the Commonwealth Games time-trial, producing a superb ride to overcome the challenge of Australia’s Rohan Dennis, while Geraint Thomas took bronze for Wales.
Dowsett was silver medallist in Delhi behind David Millar and cited Commonwealth Games time-trial gold as a major goal after missing Tour de France selection due to illness. However the three-time British champion had to fight hard after losing the lead mid-race to the hard-charging Dennis.
Geraint Thomas put in a stellar performance to take bronze, in great form after a career-best Tour de France finish a week earlier while defending champion Millar struggled to find the form he wanted on the home course, finishing eighth behind England’s Steve Cummings.
The hilly 40-kilometre course left the city to the north east for a loop in the countryside of North Lanarkshire and East Dumbartonshire before descending back through the East End to finish at Glasgow Green.
Dowsett stated his intent from the gun, fastest through the first checkpoint at 6.4-kilometres, three seconds faster than New Zealand’s Jessie Sergent with Australia’s Luke Durbridge a further second adrift.
Thomas too was knocking on the door of the podium early on, fourth at the early check ahead of Dennis while behind Millar was off the pace, 21 seconds behind Dowsett.
At the 17-kilometre point, Dowsett had extended his lead to seven seconds while behind Rohan Dennis had jumped up the order along with Thomas, with fast starters Sergent and Durbridge beginning to pay for their early efforts.
Millar passed through the check 50 seconds down in ninth and at less than half distance, his title defence was over.
The third check came at 26.4-kilometres and Dennis’ charge continued, now six seconds faster than Dowsett who slipped into silver medal position ahead of Thomas, with an ever-increasing gap to Sergent in fourth.
With the die cast in terms of the medallists all that remained to be answered was the finishing order. And at the fourth check at 32-kilometres Dowsett had slipped into third place, five seconds behind leader Dennis while Thomas was up to second, just four seconds adrift of the Australian.
Dowsett had it all to do in the final section but didn’t disappoint, stopping the clock at 47:41.78 to take gold, nine seconds ahead of Dennis, while Geraint Thomas took bronze with 47:55.82.
England’s Steve Cummings produced an excellent ride in seventh, with Millar having to settle for eighth place, completing a quartet of home nations riders in the top ten.
Following the race an elated Dowsett spoke to BBC Sport.
"Nobody wanted that more than I did after the disappointment of not being picked for the Tour de France and the silver in Delhi in 2010,” said Dowsett.
"I've been angry all this month, ever since I was a kid I have pulled something out of the bag when I have been really angry. It's pretty special that."
Geraint Thomas was surprised with his form following three-weeks of Tour de France duty with Team Sky.
"I was bit unsure what to expect in terms of my fitness,” said Thomas.
“I just felt strong. I didn't felt fresh or zippy as such but felt I could just smash it.
"Before the next time trial I do I'm going to send Alex Dowsett some flowers. Make sure he is happy, and maybe we will have a chat."
Outgoing champion David Millar paid tribute to the crowds and was philosophical about his performance.
"It was like a Tour de France stage out there with all the Scottish flags and everyone cheering my name,” said Millar.
“I knew it wasn't my day when I saw the television motorbike go on ahead!
"I might have been stronger if I'd have ridden the Tour, but maybe not as fresh. You can't really tell, because you look at Geraint Thomas who gave everything today and got bronze.
"I was realistic about today because my time trial isn't what it was. It's a young man's game!"