Australia enjoyed another stellar day on the track at the Indira Gandhi sports centre in Delhi, claiming three of the four cycling gold medals on offer to take their total to six out of seven in the first two days of track competition at the Commonwealth Games.
Anna Meares, who 24 hours earlier won gold in the 500m sprint, added a second in the women’s team sprint, where she rode with Kaarle McCulloch, who had claimed silver behind her yesterday.
Meares got the Australian duo off to a storming start in the final against the Scottish pairing of Jenny Davis and Charlie Joiner, who had to settle for silver, with Canada beating hosts India in the bronze medal race.
Earlier, 19-year-old Australian Megan Dunn had won the 25km points race, her score of 45 putting her ahead of New Zealand’s Lauren Ellis, on 40 points, with Canada’s Tara Whitten four points further back in bronze medal position.
The only other riders to lap the field, England’s Katie Colclough and Heather Wilson, failed to pick up enough points on intermediate sprints to challenge for the podium positions.
The Cyclones’ stranglehold on gold was finally broken in the third gold medal event of the day, the men’s keirin, following a dramatic semi-final in which their main contender, Shane Perkins, was relegated to last place after being adjudged to have caused a crash.
The high-speed collision ended the gold medal hopes of Scotland’s Ross Edgar, who took Olympic silver at Beijing behind Chris Hoy, and South Africa’s Bernard Pierre Esterhuizen. Although Edgar was unhurt, Esterhuizen was taken away to be patched up for cuts and grazes, returning to view the final from the stands.
There was further controversy in the final when Malaysia’s Azizulhasni Awang came off the final bend to beat his compatriot Josiah Ng, celebrating with a wheelie as he crossed the line to apparently take gold.
However, Awang was subsequently disqualified for making an illegal move in squeezing past England’s Dave Daniell, which saw the latter elevated to silver medal position behind Ng, New Zealand’s Simon Van Velthooven moving up to bronze.
The Malaysian’s disqualification drew some raised eyebrows however, with Geraint Thomas tweeting: “Oooooo controversial!! Awang shouldn't be able to move a guy 20kg heavier than him!! Made his own space, respect!! Long live Awang!!”
A thrilling men’s 40km points race saw World Champion Cameron Meyer restore Australia’s dominance, the Garmin-Transitions rider claiming the gold medal in imperious manner as he lapped the field three times and picked up intermediate points to finish with 89 points.
The first of those breaks included Scotland’s Evan Oliphant, England’s George Atkins, Sam Harrison from Wales and the Isle of Man’s Mark Christian, and with 75 laps to go, when Meyer escaped again, Atkins went with him to move into silver medal position, which he would remain in until the end of the race, which he completed with a score of 52 points.
The contest for bronze went right down to the wire, however, with Harrison and Christian tied on 37 points as the bell rang for the last time and while neither finished in the points in the sprint on the final lap, the Manx rider crossed the line in sixth position, one place ahead of the Welshman, to clinch bronze.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.