Linda Villumsen (New Zealand) claimed her first gold medal in a major competition, winning the time trial at the Commonwealth Games.
Villumsen, who has so often finished second or third in world championships and other events, beat Emma Pooley (England) by six seconds and so denied the English rider a dream finish to her career. Australia’s Katrin Garfoot took an impressive bronze medal on her Games debut.
Villumsen was overjoyed to final take a gold medal.
"This means more than any words can describe. It’s something that we’ve worked towards for the last four years. Every year I’ve been nearly there at worlds, nearly there, so this is a confidence boost that I can’t describe," she said.
True to character and showing huge dignity, Pooley sportingly accepted defeat.
"I’m not upset because Linda is an excellent time trialist and deserved the win. I don’t want to look back with regrets because you can’t re-race it but I was pretty cautious in the corner because it was wet and I did slip out on one of the corners. I’m thrilled to have a medal. I just wanted to get everything out because it was my last time trial as a professional cyclist," she said.
Wet corners and small time gaps
There were a few wry smiles on Thursday morning as rain came down hard ahead of the women’s time trial. As a result the first challenge for most of the riders was to negotiate the right-hand bend that came metres after they rolled off the start ramp. Most riders took it gingerly, not wanting to end their hopes before they had even begun.
Garfoot was the early benchmark for the other riders, setting the fastest time at each of the three check points. The Australian was the 16th of 32 riders to start and clocked the best time of 43.13.91 at the finish.
However, it became clear from the first time checks that the race and the gold medal would be a battle between Pooley and Villumsen. Pooley came out of the gates with determination and made the most of the climb to the first check point. It was the part of the course that would suit her most and it showed. After some technical problems with her transponder, the times came up, showing that Pooley had gone over a second quicker in the opening section.
Pooley and Villumsen continued to be tied by that one-second gap as they negotiated the less technical part of the course. Yet it looked like things were swinging further in favour of Pooley as they neared the city once again. The gap had gone up to eight and Pooley looked destined to end her career with a Commonwealth gold. However Villumsen wasn’t to be denied again and dug deep through the final section through Glasgow Green.
The New Zealander -who has stepped on the podium at the world championships four times without a gold medal, found the eight seconds she’d lost to Pooley and put an extra six into her rival just to be sure of success.
There was also a big battle for the bronze medal. Katie Archibald (Scotland) looked set to take another bronze medal to add to her one from the track but faded in the final section and came home in fifth. Garfoot’s teammate Shara Gillow was also a favourite to take the final step on the podium, but paid the price for riding too hard in the opening kilometres and dropped down to sixth. Garfoot, who turned professional this season with Orica-AIS held on to take the bronze medal.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Linda Villumsen (New Zealand)||0:42:25|
|2||Emma Pooley (England)||0:00:06|
|3||Katrin Garfoot (Australia)||0:00:48|
|4||Jaime Nielsen (New Zealand)||0:01:04|
|5||Katie Archibald (Scotland)||0:01:05|
|6||Shara Gillow (Australia)||0:01:08|
|7||Elinor Barker (Wales)||0:01:31|
|8||Lucy Coldwell (Scotland)||0:01:38|
|9||Anna Turvey (Scotland)||0:01:43|
|10||Jasmin Glaesser (Canada)||0:01:47|
|11||Reta Trotman (New Zealand)||0:02:05|
|12||Amy Roberts (Wales)||0:02:05|
|13||Joanna Rowsell (England)||0:02:20|
|14||Anna Christian (Isle of Man)||0:03:23|
|15||Ashleigh Moolman (South Africa)||0:03:33|
|16||Laura Brown (Canada)||0:04:10|
|17||Antri Christoforou (Cyprus)||0:04:28|
|18||Tamiko Butler (Antigua)||0:04:53|
|19||Aurelie Halbwach (Mauritius)||0:05:00|
|20||Heidi Dalton (South Africa)||0:05:57|
|21||Nicole Mitchell (Bermuda)||0:06:08|
|22||Joanna Watts (Guernsey)||0:06:24|
|23||Ann Bowditch (Guernsey)||0:06:38|
|24||Leah Kirchmann (Canada)||0:06:40|
|25||Karina Bowie (Guernsey)||0:07:21|
|26||Laura Wasley (Isle of Man)||0:07:42|
|27||Vera Adrian (Namibia)||0:07:56|
|28||Irene Steyn (Namibia)||0:08:50|
|29||Claire Fraser-Greene (Guyana)||0:10:37|
|30||Sriyalatha Wickramasigha (Sri Lanka)||0:12:08|
|31||Biana Hernould (Jamaica)||0:13:07|
|DNS||Ciara Horne (Wales)|