Lizzie Armitsead and Emma Pooley secured Commonwealth Games gold and silver for England in the women’s road race.
Armitstead, the Olympic road race silver medalist at London 2012, started as favourite in Glasgow and duly delivered a solo victory after overhauling Pooley with seven kilometres of the 98km race remaining.
Pooley’s silver medal is her second of the Games, having finished second behind New Zealand’s Linda Villumsen in Thursday’s time trial, and came in the 31-year-old’s final race as a professional cyclist.
And Armitstead paid tribute to the former world time trial champion, who launched an attack to break up the leading group and subsequently help setup victory for her team-mate.
“Special, surreal this is something I have always dreamed about, it means so much to me. I am always a runner up,” said Armitstead, who won a silver medal in the road race at the Delhi Commonwealth Games four years ago.
“I am really happy. That was the best cycling teamwork I have ever been a part of. It’s such a shame Emma is retiring today, it was a fantastic job from her and all the girls, I am really proud of them.”
“I want to say a massive thank you to Emma. Cycling is a beautiful sport and a team sport, which often gets overlooked so I’m pleased Emma gets a silver medal as well.”
Pooley, who crossed the line in tears, added: “That was unexpected. We were working for Liz and I wanted to do everything for her. When she came past me and I was still clear I thought I might as well keep going. It’s been a long nine years, it was nice to finish on a high.”
The punchy Glasgow circuit was expected to encourage aggressive racing and that’s how it panned out, with Australia launching a number of attacks before a seven-rider group formed on the fifth of seven laps, with Armitstead and Pooley joined by Villumsen, looking to do the time trial and road race double, Tiffany Cromwell (Australia) and Ashleigh Pasio (South Africa), before Scotland’s Katie Archibald Australia’s Gracie Elvin bridged across.
A series of attacks followed but it was Pooley’s move that caused the damage with 11.5km remaining, earning the 2008 Olympic time trial silver medalist a small gap before Armitstead jumped out of the front of the chasing group on the steep climb of George Street.
Armitstead soon caught Pooley and passed her compatriot, opening up enough of a lead at the finish to savour the victory before Pooley crossed the line to secure a one-two for England, with Pasio claiming bronze.