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Armitstead and Thomas win Commonwealth road races

3rd August 2014

Geraint Thomas at the Tour de France

Lizzie Armitstead won gold, and Emma Pooley silver, in the women's road race at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.  

The English team were riding for Lizzie Armitstead, and had decided to make it a hard race. The team, which included Dani King, Laura Trott, and Hannah Barnes, as well as Armitstead and Pooley, chased down all the breaks. With 40 of the 98km left, Pooley and Armitstead got into a seven-rider break.

It began to rain in the closing kilometres. Pooley went out ahead alone, then with 7km left, Armitstead overtook her, and went on to win. Pooley came in second, for silver, in her last race before a switch to trialthlon and marathon.

The men's race, over 168km, or 12 laps of the Glasgow city centre circuit, was run in wet conditions, with rain falling heavily. A series of short, sharp climbs made it a tough course. 

Peter Kennaugh went out from the start. Perhaps he hoped others would join him, but he was left to go alone. He stayed ahead for over 100km, but ran out of steam.

Thomas said afterwards that he didn't feel at all good at the start, and considered abandoning. He had a problem when his chain got twisted up early on. However, he was able to get back to the front, and then he was part of break with Jack Bauer of New Zealand and Scott Thwaites of England, the three of them passing Kennaugh. The group of three worked together, and were far enough clear to be sure of sharing the medals.

Thomas jumped the other two on the last lap, and soon pulled out a big gap. For some long, heart-stopping moments, he waited as his front wheel was changed after a puncture, and it seemed that he must be caught and passed by Bauer and Thwaites, but he had enough time in hand to stay in the lead, and he crossed the line first.

Thwaites led out the sprint, and was just overhauled by Bauer, who took silver. Thwaites had to be happy with bronze.

The BBC has video highlights of the women's race and the men's race.

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