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No-one could have guessed the Commonwealth Games men's individual time trial podium 18 months ago ... here's why

A pro who packed in the sport, a youngster off the radar and an Olympic champion rower took the honours today

The men’s individual time trial at the Commonwealth Games earlier today produced a podium that would have been impossible to predict 18 months ago – with none of the occupants of the gold, silver and bronze positions active in top-level cycling back then, for three distinct reasons.

Unlike the Olympic Games, participation in the Commonwealth Games is less of a long-term goal for many, with participation often decided only in the months leading up to the event.

Nevertheless, the podium finishers in the event in the past two editions of the Games comprise some top time trialling talent, with victories in the discipline in national championships and major stage races, including Grand Tours, among their collective palmarès.

At Delhi in 2010, Scotland’s David Millar took gold ahead of England’s Alex Dowsett, with Luke Durbridge of Australia third. Four years ago in Glasgow, Dowsett won the gold medal, with Australia’s Rohan Dennis winning silver and Geraint Thomas taking bronze for Wales.

Of course, the timing of those editions of the Games differs from this year’s in Queensland – they took place later in the year (October in the case of Delhi, and late July/early August for Glasgow), so riders would have had more leeway from their pro teams to compete.

Despite a perhaps weaker field this time round, the latest podium is remarkable given where the leading trio were 18 months ago.

Let’s look at all three in turn.

Today’s gold medallist, Cameron Meyer, left Dimension Data in June 2016 citing “personal issues” – a surprise at the time, given the announcement was made halfway through the season and took immediate effect.

In early October that year, he announced he would be returning to track racing at Six Day London later that month, and that he had his sights set on a place in the Australian track squad for Tokyo 2020.

He’s since won three world championship gold medals on the track, taking his career total to nine, but back in late 2016, no-one would have predicted the 31-year-old, now riding on the road with Mitchelton-Scott, as emerging as today’s Commonwealth individual time trial champion.

The silver medal today went to England’s Harry Tanfield – whose brother Charlie won the individual pursuit on the track last week.

Last year, he finished fifth in the national time trial championships, and it’s fair to say that anyone asked to predict a year and a half ago which English cyclist would win a medal today might have been tempted to put their house on Dowsett doing so again.

Most remarkable, perhaps, is the path taken by the man who won the bronze medal today – Hamish Bond of New Zealand, who 18 months ago was fresh from winning his second career Olympic gold medal … in rowing.

In November 2016, the nine-time world champion in the coxless pairs said he would take a break from rowing and focus instead on cycling, with the individual time trial his main focus.

Last year, the 32-year-old won bronze in the discipline at both the Oceania regional and New Zealand national championships – and won both this year.

Now, he has a Commonwealth medal to his name, too … and with rowing not among the sports that feature in the Games, it’s the first of his career.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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