New Zealand team takes stock of Commonwealth Games

The New Zealand girls

The New Zealand girls (Image credit: Mark Gunter)

The Kiwis finished the Commonwealth Games with a more modest medal count than their neighbours across the Tasman. Two silvers (women's MTB and men's points race) and two bronzes (men's team pursuit and men's time trial) had to suffice, with the New Zealanders missing out on the medals on the final day in the road races.

In the women's race, Toni Bradshaw led the New Zealand charge for most of the nine lap 100.17 km event. Bradshaw was the only Kiwi in the leading bunch of five riders, staying with them until the peloton caught them on the final lap. Earlier during the sixth lap, Australian Natalie Bates made her winning move, and was far too strong to be reeled in. For New Zealand, Joanne Kiesanowski and Sarah Ulmer were in contention for a silver or bronze until the final sprint, with Ulmer leading out Kiesanowski for an eventual sixth place.

Unfortunately for Meshy Holt, a crash in the feed zone during the fourth lap saw her taken to hospital with a broken collar bone. Michelle Hyland and Susie Wood also raced well as part of the New Zealand team and finished 23rd and 26th respectively.

The men’s road race in the afternoon was even tougher, with only 35 finishers out of the 135 starters. Greg Henderson was the best placed New Zealander in sixth place, with Peter Latham in tenth.

The race was dominated by a lead bunch of five riders for most of the race, which included no New Zealanders or Australians, and suited both teams. The Australians controlled the peloton to catch the leaders and continued to work well as a team to see their riders take gold (Mathew Hayman) and bronze (Allan Davis), with South African David George taking the silver.

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