Alex Dowsett (England) stormed to victory in the men’s 38.4 kilometre time trial at the Commonwealth in Glasgow to deny Rohan Dennis (Australia) and Geraint Thomas (Wales) the gold medal.
Dowsett was down on Dennis at the penultimate time check at 32 kilometers by five seconds, but pulled out the ride of his life in the closing stages to take the title by nearly ten full seconds on the line. It marked the first major gold at the international level for the Movistar rider, adding to the silver he won in Delhi four years ago.
"Ever since I was a kid, I’ve been able to pull something really big out of the bag when I’m really angry. That wasn’t easy though," Dowsett said of his race.
"I can’t describe just how happy I am. It goes a lot deeper than simply winning the gold medal at the Commonwealth Games, it’s like a personal victory for me. It’s a thank you. I changed coaches this year and I’ve been working a lot harder this year and it’s testament to my whole support team, family and coaches, Movistar as well have been massively supportive."
There would be no fairytale ending for defending champion David Millar (Scotland) who finished eighth and over two minutes down on Dowsett.
The race lead changed throughout the race with Dowsett, Dennis and Thomas vying for victory over the undulating and technically testing course. However, Dowsett timed his efforts to match his skill set, setting off fastest over the opening drag section.
Dennis and Thomas remained in contention and it looked as though Dennis would prove the strongest when he reversed an early deficit to his rival, but on the long downhill run to the finish in the city centre, Dowsett used his descending powers to turn a bronze or silver into gold.
The Essex-born rider came into the time trial with a point to prove. Out of contract at the end of the season, he had also missed out on selection for the Tour de France after a late illness saw Movistar replace him in their final line-up.
At the first check at 6.4 kilometres, Dowsett moved into an early lead and was up on his rivals by a handful of seconds. Svein Tuft (Canada), Jesse Sergent (New Zealand), and Thomas were all in contention, while Dennis was just warming up. The Garmin-Sharp rider also missed out on a ride at the Tour de France and the Australian camp gave hints that he was their pick of their riders with Luke Durbridge struggling to find his top form after the Tour.
Tuft was the early marker for the favourites behind and he went quickest at the second time check at 17.1 kilometres, with the former Worlds medallist looking to capture a medal for Canada. That task looked unlikely when Thomas stormed through the sector 22 seconds faster, and Sergent just three seconds slower.
Dennis, however, had found his stride and when he kicked through three seconds faster than the Welshman the medals appeared to be split between England, Wales and Austalia. Dowsett, meanwhile, continued to lead, and had extended his advantage over Dennis to seven seconds, with Millar almost a minute down and out of contention.
Dowsett’s confidence took a boost when he caught Durbridge for a minute but Thomas continued to cling onto the hope of winning only Wales’ third ever gold medal in cycling. However, he was pushed into third at 26 kilometres with Dennis taking the lead for the first time.
Dowsett was losing time at what seemed like an alarming rate. At the same stage he was six seconds down on Dennis and just one ahead of Thomas.
At the penultimate check at 32 kilometres Thomas’s hopes were invigorated once more with just four seconds separating him and Dennis for the Gold. The Australian still lead as Dowsett slipped to third.
But the Movistar man summoned up one last effort, skimming through the corners, and taking every risk he could as Dennis began to fade. Tuft was forced to settle for fourth with Sergent in fifth.
"I was getting time checks the whole way around," Dowsett said. "I think I was three seconds up at the first, seven seconds up at the second but then I was down at the third check point. I thought it was all over to be honest and I was struggling overt the last 10km, but obviously everyone was struggling. Gladly everyone was struggling a little more than I was at the end."
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Alex Dowsett (England)||0:47:42|
|2||Rohan Dennis (Australia)||0:00:09|
|3||Geraint Thomas (Wales)||0:00:14|
|4||Svein Tuft (Canada)||0:00:51|
|5||Jesse Sergent (New Zealand)||0:00:52|
|6||Michael Hepburn (Australia)||0:01:29|
|7||Steve Cummings (England)||0:01:33|
|8||David Millar (Scotland)||0:02:14|
|9||Luke Durbridge (Australia)||0:02:16|
|10||James McLaughlin (Guernsey)||0:02:58|
|11||Mark Christian (Isle of Man)||0:03:09|
|12||Michael Hutchinson (Northern Ireland)||0:04:24|
|13||Marcus Christie (Northern Ireland)||0:04:35|
|14||Zachary Bell (Canada)||0:04:34|
|15||Andrew Roche (Isle of Man)||0:04:52|
|16||Scott Davies (Wales)||0:04:52|
|17||Luke Rowe (Wales)||0:05:06|
|18||Till Drobisch (Namibia)||0:06:38|
|19||Janvier Hadi (Rwanda)||0:07:02|
|20||Muhammad Fauzan Ahmad Lutfi (Malaysia)||0:07:14|
|21||Yannick Lincoln (Mauritius)||0:07:27|
|22||Aaron Bailey (Guernsey)||0:08:10|
|23||Valens Ndayisenga (Rwanda)||0:08:57|
|24||Gerhard Mans (Namibia)||0:09:05|
|25||John Muya (Kenya)||0:09:06|
|26||Dominique Mayho (Bermuda)||0:09:13|
|27||David Njau (Kenya)||0:09:28|
|28||Arvind Panwar (India)||0:09:40|
|29||Giovanni Lovell (Belize)||0:10:39|
|30||Raynauth Jeffrey (Guyana)||0:10:46|
|31||Christian Spence (Jersey)||0:10:47|
|32||Matthew Osborn (Guernsey)||0:10:59|
|33||Lee Calderon (Gibraltar)||0:11:07|
|34||Andre Simon (Antigua and Barbuda)||0:11:07|
|35||Julian Bellido (Gibraltar)||0:11:07|
|36||Michele Smith (Cayman Islands)||0:11:08|
|38||Marlon Williams (Guyana)||0:11:38|
|39||Mike Chong Chin (Mauritius)||0:11:41|
|40||Danny Laud (Anguilla)||0:12:09|
|41||Joel Borland (Belize)||0:12:17|
|42||Buddhika Warnakulasooriya (Sri Lanka)||0:12:21|
|43||Mark Francis (Gibraltar)||0:12:26|
|44||Samuel Anim (Ghana)||0:13:06|
|45||Antoine Arrisol (Seychelles)||0:13:28|
|46||Christopher Symonds (Ghana)||0:13:31|
|47||Jyme Bridges (Antigua and Barbuda)||0:13:34|
|48||Edward Pothin (Seychelles)||0:13:45|
|49||Marvin Spencer (Antigua and Barbuda)||0:13:48|
|50||Chad Albury (Bahamas)||0:15:01|
|51||Kris Pradel (Anguilla)||0:15:38|
|52||Sherwin Osborne (Anguilla)||0:15:53|
|53||Leonard Tsoyo (Malawi)||0:17:25|
|54||Missi Kathumba (Malawi)||0:17:54|
|55||Jay Major (Bahamas)||0:18:40|
|56||Moses Sesay (Sierra Leone)||0:23:18|