Weekend race roundup – Freire, Davis and Gilmore winShareThis
Three big pro races to report on today. Paris-Tours won by Oscar Freire of Rabobank, the Commonwealth Games road race won, in the men’s event, by Alan Davis and by Rochelle Gilmore for the women.
Paris-Tours, inevitably, finished with a sprint finish where Gert Steegmans was pipped at the line by the Spaniard. The average speed for the 230km event was a stonkingly rapid 47.730km/h, the second fastest in the event’s history (Andreï Tchmil remains the record holder with 48.929km/h in 1999). The victory ends a six month baron run for the Spaniard who had won only once since Milan-San Remo in the Spring.
Paris-Tours is surely made for Mark Cavendish, but he was in Delhi representing the Isle of Man in the Commonwealth Games road race. The pan flat course was not imaginatively conceived (an out and back circuit which we mentioned in an earlier posting) but should have suited Cav’s super-sprint style.
However, when the final selection was made it was Alan Davis, the Aussie, who had until today the unwelcome title of the world’s best sprinter not to have achieved a victory in 2010 (8 times on the podium but never standing on the top ledge!), that was the top sprinter in the pack.
David Millar identified the danger and attempted to ride off the front of the lead group the moment that Davis had bridged the gap from the chasing group. However, with fellow Aussie Chris Sutton for help, Davis was able to break his duck and take commonwealth gold for Australia (their fourth in a row).
Millar was critical of his performance after the race but gained Scotlands first road race medal (bronze) and can now focus his energy on Wednesday’s 40 km time trial.
Separately, in the ladies’ road race Lizzie Armistead took silver for England, with Australian Rochelle Gilmore taking gold (Wales’ Nicole Cooke coming in fifth).
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