Georgia Baker wins Commonwealth Games road race title for Australia

Georgia Baker struck gold again for Australia in the women’s road race at the Commonwealth Games on Sunday, lifting her medal haul to three golds after success on the track. 

The 112km road race saw the major nations controlling the attacks and so a group of 20 select riders contested the sprint finish. 

Baker won gold medals in the team pursuit and points races, and used her speed to win the gold medal on the road.  

Neah Evans of Scotland stopped the Australians from taking a sweep of the podium, taking silver, with Sarah Roy earning the bronze medal. 

Australia were the pre-race favourites to defend their 2018 Commonwealth title after winning both the men’s and women’s time trial titles. 

They had arguably the three fastest finishers on paper: Baker, Alexandra Manly and Ruby Roseman-Gannon, plus three of the strongest all-rounders in Roy, Brodie Chapman and time trial gold medallist Grace Brown.

The onus was on rival nations to put the green and gold under pressure, a difficult task on the pancake-flat course around Warwick.

Despite repeated early attacks from England (especially Anna Henderson), New Zealand (Ella Harris), Canada (Alison Jackson) and South Africa (Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio), the Australians always responded 

When a breakaway did get away with 40km remaining, Ruby Roseman-Gannon was among them, policing the move before Roy bridged from the peloton and neutralised any danger. A sprint finish was inevitable. 

Brown, Chapman and finally Roseman-Gannon set a fast pace to prevent attacks. Manly took over with less than a kilometre remaining, leading Baker down the barriers on their right to ensure a way through in the sprint.   

It was a long sprint, but the Tasmanian had the staying power to hold off Evans in a drag race on opposite sides of the road.

“There was a little bit of pressure coming in. We knew that we had one of the strongest teams here,” Baker said happily.

“The girls did an amazing job covering all the moves, making sure it was a bunch sprint. For them to nail the final lead-out made my ride so easy, I finished with fresh legs and that was the goal.”

“When we unite and come together, I think it’s something really special,” Baker said.

Baker becomes the first cyclist since Kathy Watt in 1994 to win the road race after winning on the track at the same Commonwealth Games.

“I think the way Australia’s developing and going forward, we should be able to do this more in the future and support each other with ambitions on the track and on the road,” Baker said.

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Stephen Farrand
Head of News

Stephen is the most experienced member of the Cyclingnews team, having reported on professional cycling since 1994. He has been Head of News at Cyclingnews since 2022, before which he held the position of European editor since 2012 and previously worked for Reuters, Shift Active Media, and CyclingWeekly, among other publications.

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