Geraint Thomas’ predilection for crashes struck once again as he missed the chance at a second Commonwealth title after hitting the deck barely two minutes into the time trial.
The fall effectively cost him the victory as he settled for bronze behind Australia’s Rohan Dennis and 23-year-old Englishman Fred Wright.
Fresh from his third podium at the Tour de France where he was racing the global cycling’s elite, Thomas went up against a 48-year-old doorkeeper at the House of Commons and an immigration officer from the Falklands Islands who was just two years younger.
But where they managed to stay upright throughout the 37.4km time trial, Thomas went down when he lost control of his bike around a sharp left turn, effectively ending his chances of challenging former world time trial champion Dennis, who took the gold.
Wright produced a brilliant ride to finish 26 seconds behind the Australian, with Thomas two seconds further back as one of many riders to fall on the day.
While he accepted responsibility for the crash, Thomas also revealed that the recon ride he had done prior to the event bore little resemblance to the course on the day.
“Sometimes it’s pure bad luck and something happens,” said the 36-year-old, who also crashed in last year’s Olympic-road race, as well as the opening stage of the Tour de France.
“Today I must take it on the chin, it was my fault. I felt good on the bike other than the crash really, it was a bit unfortunate, I went into that corner a bit too hot.
“Your kind of used to seeing the course exactly for what it’s going to be. It’s just not as organised as what we’re used to. I don’t know what happened with the other crashes but that’s probably the reason why, no one got to see it as it would be as we’d race. But it’s the same for everyone.
“The recon I did in traffic, there were no barriers up or anything, so it was pointless really. It’s my fault at the end of the day but thinking it was a sweeping left and suddenly it’s barriers and the legs sticking out. It’s never straightforward.”
Among the other people competing were Ghana’s Chris Symonds, whose day job is keeping the great unwashed out of parliament, while Jim Horton is the head of immigration in the Falkland Islands and became their first-ever cyclist at the Commonwealth Games.
The pair finished 46th and 47th respectively, some 16 minutes down on Dennis, serving a reminder of the unique nature of these Games.
Thomas added: “they say it’s the friendly Games. It’s been good to mix with all sorts of different nations. No disrespect but there’s some nations I’ve never even heard of. It’s been nice, it’s kind of strange when you have people coming to the pen asking for photos that you’re racing against. But it’s great to be part of this, it’s such a great atmosphere.”
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