Commonwealth Games

Millar wins time trial gold

2010-10-13 12:29
David Millar (File)

New Delhi - Scotland's David Millar destroyed a field of elite road riders to take gold in the Commonwealth Games time trial on Wednesday - winning by nearly a minute in the searing Delhi heat.

Millar, hot off a bronze medal in the men's 168km road race, set a blistering pace to outgun his rivals in the first half of the 40km ride before pulling further ahead as the mercury hit 44 degrees Celsius at the Noida Expressway.

"It was a very physical course, like being on a treadmill," he said. "It hurt.

"All year, I have been preparing for this. I do a lot of races outside of this like the world championships last week. This is my last big event of the year and it's great to have got gold."

Alex Dowsett, 22, of England had the ride of his life but could not live with Millar's pace, crossing the line 55 seconds slower ahead of Australia's Luke Durbridge, 19, who took bronze.

In the women's 29km race, reigning world champion Tara Whitten capped a gruelling week to take gold ahead of New Zealand's Linda Villumsen and Julia Shaw of England.

Millar, who rode to silver in the World Championships in Australia earlier this month, never looked like he was in doubt for the gold.

The 33-year-old went through the halfway stage first, in a shade under 20:59.59, three seconds ahead of Dowsett, who put in an assured ride with the wind behind him.

It was a long, lonely ride home into the wind for the Scotsman, who began picking off his rivals on the half-hour, breezing past McCann and then taking Durbridge just before the finish.

Millar's team-mate Evan Oliphant, 28, won the first heat in 52:13.12, placing him 10th overall.

"I was hoping for 53 or 54 (minutes) so I did better than expected," he said.

"As I was pushing to 22 to 24km, I was getting more and more dehydrated. I could have done with more drink, but to do that you need to take your hand off the bar and that slows you down."

Whitten finished four seconds ahead of Nillumsen after a commanding performance in the women's race which saw her in the lead for the entire 29km course.

"I'm really happy," she said. "It was the best day's racing I've ever had. It was really painful for the last 10km, but I knew I had to win so I was able to hold it together."

A few hundred spectators cheered near the start line at the Mahamaya Flyover as India's Helen Devi led the race out, although they were largely drowned out by a helicopter hovering above.

As with the road race on Sunday though, there was no provision for spectators to line the course, a section of motorway nowhere near the main hub of central Delhi, which will stage India's first Formula 1 race next year.

The pre-race favourite Emma Pooley, 28, of England had a surprisingly slow ride out, and was well off the pace at the turn before limping in well outside the medal times.

It was a battle to be fit on time for Pooley, who was hit by the curse of Delhi belly before finishing a lowly 34th in Sunday's road race and she looked like she was still off-colour on Wednesday.

"I was quite worried about the heat because I've never raced in anything as hot as this before," Shaw said after taking bronze. "But I did all the heat training I could do and I just had to keep my fingers crossed.

Whitten, who won two bronzes in the endurance events in the velodrome last week, initially tried track cycling to train for her first sport, cross country skiing, eventually becoming only the third Canadian to win a world championship gold medal when she claimed victory in the omnium at the 2010 World Championships in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Commonwealth Games cycling time trial results at the Commonwealth Games on Wednesday:


1. Tara Whitten (CAN) 38:59.30
2. Linda Villumsen (NZL) 39:04.15 (+4.85)
3. Julia Shaw (ENG) 39:09 (+10.22)
4. Alexis Rhodes (AUS)
5. Melissa Holt (NZL)
6. Wendy Houvenaghel (NIR)
7. Victoria Whitelaw (AUS)
8. Emma Trott (ENG)


1. David Millar (SCO) 47:18.66
2. Alex Dowsett (ENG) 48.13.48 (+54.82)
3. Luke Durbridge (AUS) 49:19:22 (+1:00.56)
4. Michael Hutchinson (NIR)
5. Christopher Froome (ENG)
6. Rohan Dennis (AUS)
7. Zach Bell (CAN)
8. Jack Bauer (NZL)

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