Cameron Meyer was all smiles after putting in a commanding performance in the individual men’s time trial. (AAP: Tracy Nearmy)
Australia has kicked off the road cycling program at the Commonwealth Games with a sweep of the gold medals in the individual time trial events, with Katrin Garfoot and Cameron Meyer topping the podium for the host nation.
Garfoot was the clear favourite to win the women’s race in Currumbin and the two-time world championships bronze medallist did not disappoint the local crowd, claiming a convincing victory.
The 36-year-old combated the overcast conditions to finish the 25.5-kilometre course in 35:08.09 and she will be favoured to add a second gold in Saturday’s road race, having won silver in the event at last year’s world championships in Norway.
Comm Games AUS twitter: “Cameron Meyer celebrating his #GC2018 gold medal with proud parents Ken and Frances.”
Garfoot was almost 55 seconds ahead of New Zealand’s silver medallist Linda Villumsen, with England’s Hayley Simmonds one minute and 14 seconds behind the Australian in the bronze medal position.
The Germany-born Garfoot, who is based on the Gold Coast, said she was desperate to make up for the disappointment of finishing ninth at the Rio Olympics when she believed she was a medal chance.
“After I did so badly in Rio I just wanted to come home and win here,” she said.
“It’s a good place to succeed.”
Meyer, a nine-time world champion in track cycling, added Commonwealth Games gold on the road to his lengthy list of accomplishments, which also includes a Tour Down Under crown, and stage wins in the Tour de France and Giro d’Italia.
He clocked a time of 48:13.04 over the tricky 38.5km journey contested in much sunnier weather than what the women encountered later in the afternoon, finishing a tick over 30 seconds in front of silver medallist Harry Tanfield of England.
Meyer’s triumph came just two days after he was fourth in the points race on the track at the Anna Meares Velodrome in Brisbane, where he also finished 10th in the scratch race.
He only decided to contest the individual time trial a fortnight ago and was determined to make up for the disappointment of missing the podium in the points race.
“There’s so much motivation going around after the first week with other athletes winning gold,” Meyer, who won the world championship in the points race last month in the Netherlands, said.
“I missed my target in the points race, so I did have fire in my belly going out there today, and it couldn’t have gone better.”
Meyer was already a three-time Commonwealth Games gold medallist on the track but never before on the road.
He is set to contest the road race on Saturday.
Rowing great Bond wins cycling bronze for NZ
New Zealand’s Hamish Bond, a two-time Olympic gold medallist in rowing, continued his successful switch to road cycling to win bronze, just over 32 seconds behind Meyer, while Australia’s Callum Scotson was fourth.
Olympic rowing champion Hamish Bond led for most of the competition before being pipped by two of the final riders. (AAP: Tracey Neamy)
Bond, who won Olympic rowing gold in London and Rio in the men’s coxless pairs, had sat in the leader’s chair for over an hour before he was replaced by Tanfield in the provisional gold medal position.
“I’m so pleased to be on the podium with other quality riders. I couldn’t have done better,” Bond said.
Aside from winning Olympic gold, Bond also has seven world rowing championships to his name in the coxless pairs and fours events.
Scotson could not take a trick early in his ride, having sustained a tyre puncture on his back wheel.
He was forced to stop as team officials rushed to replace the wheel but the delay of about 15 to 20 seconds cost him dearly.
“It was a little bit my fault,” Scotson said.
“I went out too far when the stones were on the road and punctured the tyre. I had to try not to panic and waste time.”