Commonwealth Games 2014: day three – gold for Fachie and MacLean

Kennaugh claims silver in points race; scratch race bronze for Barker

Day three of the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow has brought more medals for British riders, with Neil Fachie and Craig MacLean leading the charge by winning another gold medal for the host nation.

Team Scotland’s para-cycling heroes added a second gold medal to their haul in the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome by claiming victory in the men’s B2 tandem sprint at the expense of their Australian rivals, Kieran Modra and Jason Niblett. The Scottish pairing opened their campaign with gold in the tandem kilo on Friday (July 25).

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Olympic keirin champion, Victoria Pendleton, told BBC Radio Five Live listeners that the noise produced by the crowd in support of Fachie and MacLean exceeded anything she’d experienced in the London Olympic Velodrome.

Fachie, who won Paralympic gold at London 2012 with Barney Storey, concurred, telling British Cycling: “This morning session was such a struggle for us, we were just so fatigued from yesterday and qualifying didn’t go that well and I felt awful after it. I’ve no idea where we found what we did at the end but I think it comes down to the crowd. Without them, we wouldn’t have done it.”

Australia found greater success in the bronze medal final, where the pairing of Paul Kennedy and Thomas Clarke saw off a Welsh duo comprised of Matthew Ellis and Ieuan Williams by winning both heats.

The Welsh gained medal success in women’s 10km scratch race with bronze for Elinor Barker, a member of Great Britain’s all-conquering women’s team pursuit squad and a rider on the road for Wiggle-Honda.

Barker saw off the challenge of Team England’s Dani King, her team-mate in the aforementioned squads, in a bunch sprint. Scotland’s Katie Archibald finished fifth, and may have hoped for more after a hugely successful season on track and road.

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Barker told British Cycling that the outcome had been “almost perfect.”

“If there had been another 20 metres of track it would have been perfect. It was so close that I didn’t actually realise that I had got a medal. With two laps to go I wasn’t in a good position, I thought that was it, I wouldn’t get anywhere near the front.”

She added: “I think it was one of the gutsiest rides I’ve ever done. It was quite twitchy in the bunch, everybody was clearly nervous. I had a ‘crash or win’ mentality by the end of it.”

Peter Kennaugh won the first medal of the Games for the Isle of Man by claiming silver in the men’s 40km points race. The British road race champion, recently returned to the track after victory earlier this month on the road for Team Sky at the Tour of Austria, was the only member of his team left on the track after his team-mates Mark Christian and Joe Kelly were disqualified.

Victory went to the New Zealander, Tom Scully, a familiar face to observers of the British road scene as a rider for Madison Genesis. ‘The Scud’ finished the points race with 98 points to Kennaugh’s 84. Wales narrowly missed out on a medal after Owain Doull finished fourth. The Scottish duo of Evan Oliphant, who plies his trade on the road for Team Raleigh, and Mark Stewart finished in tenth and eleventh place.

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Jess Varnish (Team England) will prepare for a bronze medal final tomorrow after losing out in the semi-final of the women’s sprint to Olympic champion, Anna Meares (Australia).

Varnish told British Cycling that she would approach the bronze medal final, where she will race against the Malaysian,  Fatehah Mustapa, with “knowledge and confidence.”

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