Kiwi denies Australia another gold
By Gerry McManus, Cyclingnews correspondent in Manchester, Photos
Henderson (NZL) was the worthy winner of the men's Commonwealth games
points race, finishing the 120 lap/30km with 35 points.
took first blood in the first sprint with Dawson leading out from the
bell for Graeme Brown to take full points with Mark Renshaw in second.
England's Chris Newton only managed fourth but in the next sprint he
went a little earlier and came round the whole field to edge out Renshaw
by a tyre width to make them both joint leaders.
Sprint three saw the Kiwis take to the front with Henderson getting the
better of the leaders to go top by a single point. As the riders swung
up, Mark Kelly (IOM) hit the barrier and as he slid down the track, Peter
Dawson (Aus) and Will Wright (Wales) hit him. As the race was neutralised,
the judges announced that Graeme Brown was disqualified for causing the
crash, ensuring that he didn't add to his double gold medal tally for
re-start saw Hayden Roulston (NZL) being given the half-lap lead that
he had gained in the confusion that ensued after the crash and he took
full points in the next sprint before sitting up to wait for the bunch.
Renshaw got second to go top with Henderson; Chris Newton was back in
third with eight.
Kelly and Dawson were able to re-start with spare bikes
but even though Wright was walking, he was badly shaken and unable to
continue. At half distance New Zealand were driving at the front again
with Lee Vertongen giving Henderson a perfect lead-out. Renshaw could
only manage fourth.
Gibb (England) tested the field when he jumped away but the bunch was
in no mood to be left behind. Henderson scored full points on the next
Chris Newton (England) attacked but could only manage a couple of laps
on his own before falling back into the bunch. Teammate Tony Gibb lead
the string for the next sprint and even managed to hold to second but
Renshaw took the full five points for first.
perfect teamwork from New Zealand with Vertongen staying on the front
for two laps to lead Henderson into another five points. He was now eight
points clear of Renshaw, as they had distanced themselves from the rest.
commenced their defence of Newton's bronze medal position with first Bryan
Steel and then Gibb leading round to the sprint but Newton only managed
second as Henderson again got there first. It was Renshaw and Henderson
again next and now all eyes were on the bronze position with Newton on
fifteen and Van ZYL (RSA) on ten.
On the final bell lap Huw Pritchard (Wales) jumped away to give himself
a last gasp fourth place. Chris Newton closely followed Van ZYL over the
line to take the bronze.
Henderson appreciated the part that his teammates had performed:
"It's perfect team work. We've seen the Aussies do it time and time
again. We did it four years ago (in the 1998 CWG) and I was in the opposite
position that time, helping the other guy to win. This time I was the
one to win it and it worked out perfectly for me."
"I trained my butt off. I've never trained so hard in my life. It's
good that all the hard work pays off. I went in and backed myself and
that's what you have to do."
1 Greg Henderson (New Zealand) 35 pts
2 Mark Renshaw (Australia) 27
3 Chris Newton (England) 17
4 Huw Pritchard (Wales) 13
5 Jean-Pierre Van Zyl (South Africa) 13
6 Lee Vertongen (New Zealand) 4
7 Mark Kelly (Isle of Man) 4
8 Paul Sheppard (Wales) 3
9 Ross Muir (Scotland) 0
10 Peter Dawson (Australia) 0
DQ Graeme Brown (Australia)
DNF Carlitos Jones (Barbados)
DNF Tony Gibb (England)
DNF Hayden Roulston (New Zealand)
DNF Horace Mcfarlane (Jamaica)
DNF Christian Tavares-Finson (Jamaica)
DNF Elisah Greene (Trinidad & Tobago)
DNF Richard Chapman (Scotland)
DNF James Mccallum (Scotland)
DNF Bryan Steel (England)
DNF Will Wright (Wales)