If you’re reading this from somewhere outside the British Commonwealth, you probably don’t understand all the fuss about the Commonwealth Games. Sure, they aren’t the Olympics, and sure, the cycling events are missing the top European riders, but for the athletes that compete, the Commonwealth Games are still a big deal. Just ask Chloe Hosking.
As of Sunday evening, the cycling events at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games are now complete. With that in mind, let’s take a quick look back at the biggest results from the past couple weeks and which nations performed best in cycling overall.
Women’s time trial
Australia’s Grace Brown (FDJ Suez Futuroscope) started as the favourite for this 29 km effort around Wolverhampton and duly delivered. The 30-year-old Victorian powered to the gold medal ahead of fellow WorldTour riders Anna Henderson (England/Jumbo-Visma) and Georgia Williams (New Zealand/BikeExchange-Jayco).
The win was Brown’s first at a Commonwealth Games.
Men’s time trial
It was another gold for Australia in the men’s time trial, with former world champion Rohan Dennis (Jumbo-Visma) taking the win. The increasingly impressive Fred Wright (England/Bahrain Victorious) claimed silver ahead of Geraint Thomas (Wales/Ineos Grenadiers).
Dennis’s gold adds to the silver medal he took in the time trial at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, in Glasgow.
Women’s road race
After 112 flat kilometres around Warwick on Sunday morning, the women’s road race came down to a bunch sprint. Pre-race favourites Australia had controlled the race throughout and then Ruby Roseman-Gannon and Alex Manly rode a strong lead-out for Georgia Baker who took gold in the sprint – her third gold of the Games.
Silver went to Scotswoman Neah Evans, while Australia’s Sarah Roy took bronze after riding as a sweeper for Baker.
Men’s road race
A group of 15 got away early in the 160 km men’s race and with a bunch of WorldTour riders in that break, it was soon clear the move would stick. There were plenty of attacks from that lead group, including from Luke Plapp (Australia/Ineos Grenadiers) and Fred Wright (England/Bahrain Victorious), plus a dangerous late salvo from Geraint Thomas (Wales/Ineos Grenadiers).
But in the five-up sprint that eventually decided the race, it was Continental-level Kiwi pro Aaron Gate (Bolton Equities Black Spoke Pro Cycling) that took the win ahead of Daryl Impey (South Africa/Israel-Premier Tech) and Scotland’s Finn Crockett (Ribble Weldtite).
The gold medal was Gate’s fourth of the Games, after wins in (spoiler alert) the points race, individual pursuit, and team pursuit on the track.
Follow the link for a full breakdown of all the track racing at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games, but here are the results that most caught our eye:
Women’s team pursuit
The women’s team pursuit final came down to Australia and New Zealand with the Australian quartet of Georgia Baker, Sophie Edwards, Chloe Moran and Maeve Plouffe taking a comfortable victory. Their time of 4:12.234 was a new Commonwealth Games record … but eight seconds off the world record set by the German team at last year’s Olympics.
England took the bronze medal ahead of Wales.
Men’s team pursuit
It was New Zealand vs England in the men’s team pursuit gold medal race, with New Zealand taking the top prize by roughly two seconds. Their time of 3:47.575 was also a Commonwealth Games record for Aaron Gate, Jordan Kerby, Tom Sexton and Campbell Stewart, but 4.5 seconds slower than the world record set by the Italians at the Tokyo Olympics.
Australia took the bronze medal ahead of Wales.
Women’s points race
It was a comfortable win in the 25 km points race for Georgia Baker (Australia) who easily accounted for Scotland’s Neah Evans (also second to Baker in the road race), and Eluned King (Wales).
Men’s points race
It was a Kiwi 1-2 in the men’s 40 km points race with Aaron Gate and Campbell Stewart taking gold and silver, with England’s Oli Wood taking home bronze.
Women’s scratch race
The women’s scratch race was taken out by the most successful British athlete in Olympic history, Dame Laura Kenny. The seven-time world champion took the win ahead of New Zealand’s Michaela Drummond and Canadian Maggie Coles-Lyster.
Men’s scratch race
More success for New Zealand in the men’s 15 km event with Corbin Strong beating John Archibald (Scotland) and William Roberts (Wales).
Women’s individual pursuit
New Zealand’s Bryony Botha set a new Games record of 3:18.456 in her comfortable victory over Australia’s Maeve Plouffe in the 3,000 m race.
Neah Evans (Scotland) beat Australian track recruit Sarah Roy in the bronze medal race.
Men’s individual pursuit
Another gold medal for Kiwi Aaron Gate who took a comfortable win over compatriot Tom Sexton in the 4,000 m event. Australia’s Conor Leahy won the bronze medal race ahead of Charlie Tanfield (England).
Women’s cross country
World champion Evie Richards (England) started as the top favourite and she certainly delivered on that billing. In a field of just eight riders, Richards rode to a comfortable victory, adding to her silver medal from four years earlier. It was a welcome result for the 25-year-old who has had a torrid year with a back injury, a stomach bug and COVID
Australia’s Zoe Cuthbert took silver, while South Africa’s Candice Lill claimed bronze.
Men’s cross country
Kiwi Sam Gaze repeated his gold medal from four years earlier with a strong performance in the men’s cross-country race. Gaze rode away to victory on lap six of eight as his compatriot Ben Oliver took silver and Namibia’s Alexander Miller claimed bronze.
The final medal tally
Here’s how the final medal tally looked for the cycling events at Birmingham 2022. It was close at the top of the table!