Geraint Thomas takes Commonwealth bronze after early crash ruined dreams of gold

Geraint Thomas suffered an all-too-familiar story when an early crash cost him his chance at Commonwealth gold in the men’s time trial.

Barely two minutes into the trip, the rear wheel got away from the Welshman on a sharp left-hander and he clipped a barrier.

Thomas rallied but was around 30 seconds behind eventual winner Rohan Dennis at each time check and finished two seconds behind England’s Fred Wright who took silver.

Geraint Thomas, right, took bronze after finishing behind Rohan Dennis, centre, and Fred Wright, left,

Geraint Thomas, right, took bronze after finishing behind Rohan Dennis, centre, and Fred Wright (David Davies/PA)

The riders were not given the opportunity to reconstruct the track with barriers in place, which may have contributed to a number of crashes that followed. England’s Dan Bigham left his bike embedded in a barrier and finished the race on his fiancé Joss Lowden’s machine.

“The recon I did was in the traffic, there were no barriers or anything,” Thomas said. “It was pretty pointless really, other than knowing where the hills were. I thought it was a sweeping left-hander, then the barriers were there and I thought, ‘Oh shit’. It’s never easy, is it?

“We’re used to seeing the course exactly how it’s going to be. It is not as organized as what we are used to.”

Despite that, Thomas – who has seen crashes destroy Tour de France and Olympic hopes – said he had to take the blame as the course was the same for everyone.

“Sometimes it’s just pure bad luck, but I’d say today I take it on the chin as my fault,” he said. “I was keen to try and do my best ride. I felt like every corner wasn’t full so I don’t have to brake too much, I was wrong about that.

“I knew Rohan was going to be super good. I had to be on the edge, but for it to happen so early is one of those things.”

The way Thomas held off Australia’s Dennis suggested the 36-year-old, less than two weeks after finishing third in the Tour de France, had the form to challenge the former world time trial champion, who missed the Tour and had focused. at this event.

Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games - Day Seven

Fred Wright won silver for England (David Davies/PA)

Wright was among the early runners, and actually spent more than two hours in the hot seat until he was shunted aside by Dennis at the end.

Nevertheless, this was another excellent result for the 23-year-old who lit up several stages of the Tour in the breakaways, and came second on stage 13 in Saint Etienne.

“It was quite a long wait, I must say!” Wright said. “I am so happy with my form. If you get into something like this after the Tour, you can either be on fire or a little tired. I would like to say that I was on fire.

“To mix it up with the likes of G and Rohan, I knew I’d do a good TT today. G would have me if he hadn’t crashed today, but it’s still a medal.”

Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games - Day Seven

Anna Henderson won silver for England (David Davies/PA)

England’s Anna Henderson took her strong form from last week’s first Tour de France Femmes into the Games to collect silver in the women’s time trial behind Australia’s Grace Brown.

Henderson said she “felt rubbish” after her efforts to help team-mate Marianne Vos in France, but it didn’t show in Wolverhampton as she clocked 40min 38.55sec over the 28.8km course, 33 seconds down on Brown.

“I’m very happy,” Henderson said. “I think second was the best thing I could do. Grace is just unreal. She’s a world-class time trialer, so I’m very happy to be so close to her.”

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