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Rachel Heal (England)
Although a country with a strong time trialing culture, England failed to medal in the men's and...
Although a country with a strong time trialing culture, England failed to medal in the men's and women's time events at the Commonwealth Games, which were dominated by the local cyclists. The best placed English riders were Rachel Heal and Wendy Houvenaghel, who finished fourth and fifth in the women's individual 29 km time trial. Heal (32) from Manchester, crossed the line in 39:26.37, while 31 year-old Houvenaghel, from Bodmin, was nearly 20 seconds slower in 39:46.02.
"I'm pleased with my race," said Heal. "It's a new start for me doing the time trial. I've been spending my time before today road racing."
"I thoroughly enjoyed that," said Houvenaghel. "Time trialing is something I do a lot domestically so to be out there competing for England was a great privilege. "You can only go as hard as you can. Sometimes it happens and sometimes it doesn't."
The medals went to Australia. Oenone Wood took the gold in 37:40.87 as the host nation swept up again. Kathryn Watt and Sara Carrigan won silver and bronze.
"It's unfortunate that these Games coincide with the start of the British season, whereas the Aussies are in peak season," Houvenaghel pointed out.
In the road race on Sunday, Heal will be aiming to repeat her medal-winning performance from four years ago. "I've now got a bronze from Manchester to live up to," she said. "I'll be going for that as fast as I can."
In the men's 40k race Stuart Dangerfield from Willenhall in the West Midlands failed to gain a medal in his fourth Commonwealth Games. After being disqualified from this event in Manchester, Dangerfield was keen to make amends in Melbourne but had to be satisfied with sixth place after riding 50:57.00. The gold went to Australia's Nathan O'Neill in 48:37.29. Another Australian Ben Day took silver in 49:01.67, with New Zealand's Gordon McCauley third in 49:50.70. Paul Manning's pursuit of a third Games gold also ended in disappointment. The Stockport cyclist was ninth in 51:42.85. Merseysider Stephen Cummings was 14th in 52:10.58.