Lizzie Armitstead (England) claimed gold in the women's road race at the Commonwealth Games after an attack on the final lap of the 98.14 kilometre race. Emma Pooley made it an England one-two to take silver, with Ashleigh Pasio (South Africa) taking bronze.
Armitstead came into the event as the pre-race favourite and she lived up to expectations when she jumped clear of the race-winning break inside the final ten kilometres. She swooped past her teammate Pooley, who had orchestrated the move, with the Australian team unable to find an answer. Pooley hung on to take silver.
Gold and silver capped an excellent team performance for England after they were forced to withstand a number of early attacks from Australia. However Armitstead and Pooley took the race by the scruff of the neck in the final 50 kilometres with Pooley providing the perfect foil in her final road race before retirement.
It was Pooley who attacked on the climb up St. Vincent Street with three laps to go and drew out the critical break that included Armitstead, Tiffany Cromwell (Australia), Gracie Elvin (Australia), Ashleigh Pasio (South Africa), Linda Villumsen (New Zealand) and Katie Archibald (Scotland). The move may have lacked Australia's best sprint options but England were determined to make the move stick as Pooley drove them on. Only Canada attempted to close the gap but with a lack of firepower they stood no chance.
England had the initiative but they still had work to do. Pooley harried and bustled with energy on the front as Cromwell and Elvin waited for the gap to the main field to grow before peppering the English sails with a volley of attacks.
On each of the power-sapping ascents Pooley upped the pace, clearly determined to leave the sport with one final flourish, and each of her accelerations saw time trial gold medallist Villumsen and Scotland's Archibold begin to suffer.
Every Australian attack – and there were several – from Cromwell and Elvin was matched by an English jersey but with 30 kilometres to go a winner would come from the seven clear with Pasio starting to take her first turns as the two main nations appeared to cancel each other out.
As the leader rode through Glasgow Green with one lap to go, Pooley wound up for her second significant attack of the race. Australia, who looked more comfortable as the race went on, were forced to chase as first Archibald and then Elvin dropped out of contention.
Pooley's lead tantalisingly hovered at just a handful of seconds and as she powered up University Avenue, Cromwell still led the chase. However Armitstead sensed the moment was right – on the next ascent and with Cromwell running out of gas, she laid down a vicious attack. Within seconds she was over the top of Pooley as Villumsen, Pasio and Cromwell scrambled to organise a chase.
Australia's fear as they headed into the race was finishing in a group that contained Armitstead and her lethal sprint, but there would be such scenario as the English rider powered clear. Pooley, overcome with emotion at the line, was able to hang on for silver before Pasio unleashed a valiant sprint to see off Cromwell and Villumsen to seal bronze for South Africa.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Lizzie Armitstead (England)||2:38:43|
|2||Emma Pooley (England)||0:00:25|
|3||Ashleigh Pasio (South Africa)||0:01:11|
|4||Tiffany Cromwell (Australia)|
|5||Linda Villumsen (New Zealand)||0:01:14|
|6||Gracie Elvin (Australia)||0:02:19|
|7||Katie Archibald (Scotland)|
|8||Leah Kirchmann (Canada)||0:05:29|
|9||Joanne Kiesanowski (New Zealand)|
|10||Melissa Hoskins (Australia)|
|11||Dani King (England)|
|12||Hannah Barnes (England)|
|13||Amy Roberts (Wales)|
|14||Rushlee Buchanan (New Zealand)|
|15||Reta Trotman (New Zealand)|
|16||Jaime Nielsen (New Zealand)|
|17||Shara Gillow (Australia)|
|18||Anna Christian (Isle of Man)|
|19||Lucy Garner (England)|
|10||Laura Trott (England)|
|21||Lydia Boylan (Northern Ireland)||0:12:12|
|22||An-Li Kachelhoffer (South Africa)||0:12:17|
|23||Gemma Neill (Scotland)|
|24||Tamiko Butler (Antigua and Barbuda)|
|25||Jasmin Glaesser (Canada)|
|26||Chloe Hosking (Australia)|
|27||Anne Ewing (Scotland)|
|DNF||Eileen Roe (Scotland)|
|DNF||Charlene Joiner (Scotland)|
|DNF||Laura Brown (Canada)|
|DNF||Stephanie Roorda (Canada)|
|DNF||Antri Christoforou (Cyprus)|
|DNF||Ann Bowditch (Guernsey)|
|DNF||Heidi Dalton (South Africa)|
|DNF||Lise Olivier (South Africa)|
|DNF||Elinor Barker (Wales)|
|DNF||Karina Bowie (Guernsey)|
|DNF||Joanna Watts (Guernsey)|
|DNF||Aurelie Halbwach (Mauritius)|
|DNF||Anriette Schoeman (South Africa)|
|DNF||Claire Thomas (Scotland)|
|DNF||Cherise Stander (South Africa)|
|DNF||Nicole Mitchell (Bermuda)|
|DNF||Vera Adrian (Namibia)|
|DNF||Laura Wasley (Isle of Man)|
|DNF||Claire Oakley (Northern Ireland)|
|DNF||Joyce Nyaruri Matara (Kenya)|
|DNF||Claire Fraser-Green (Guyana)|
|DNF||Sriyalatha Wickramasingha (Sri Lanka)|
|DNF||Katrin Garfoot (Australia)|
|DNF||Katie Curtis (Wales)|
|DNF||Linda Loffler (Swaziland)|
|DNF||Carol Du-Pont (Swaziland)|
|DNF||Bianca Hernould (Jamaica)|
|DNF||Adikari Mudiyansel (Sri Lanka)|
|DNF||Dinize Wilsch (Swaziland)|
|DNF||Jane Njeri Mwangi (Kenya)|
|DNF||Hayley Jones (Wales)|
|DNF||Marina Bleasdale (Guernsey)|
|DNF||Joyce Muthoni Mwangi (Kenya)|
|DNF||Doreen Musoliza Lwimbuli (Kenya)|
|DNF||Irene Steyn (Namibia)|
|DSQ||Emily Collins (New Zealand)|
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Daniel Benson is the Editor in Chief at both Cyclingnews.com and BikePerfect.com. Based in the UK, he has worked within cycling for almost 15 years, and he joined the Cyclingnews team in 2008 as the site's first UK-based Managing Editor. In that time, he has reported on over a dozen editions of the Tour de France, several World Championships, the Tour Down Under, Spring Classics, and the London 2012 Olympic Games. With the help of the excellent editorial team, he runs the coverage on Cyclingnews and has interviewed leading figures in the sport including UCI Presidents and Tour de France winners.
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