Commonwealth Games Men's and Women's Road Races

Malaysia, September 12-13, 1998

Women     Men

Men's Road Race, 184 kms:

Jay Sweet who rides for Big Mat-Auber 93 won the gold medal in the Men's Road Race over the Shah Alam circuit near to Kuala Lumpur. After 184 kms (12 laps) he had to hold off four other riders in the sprint to win Australia's first Commonwealth Games road race gold since Phil Anderson won in Canada in 1978.

Sweet was stricken with cramp in the final stages of the race but still managed to overcome the rivals in the sprint. Local rider Rosli Effandy took second, much to the delight of the Malaysian fans and Canadian Eric Wohlberg was third.

Sweet told the assembled press after his win: "This is the first time I've represented Australia at a Commonweatlh Games or Olympic Games and to win the only event I'm doing here is just fantastic. My teammates were great today. They did all the work ... mine was just the last leg" He said he would cut the gold medal into 6 pieces to recognise the contribution of his teammates.

The Australian riders - Matt White, Jay Sweet, Neil Stephens, Peter Rogers, Scott McGrory and Stuart O'Grady - all European professionals controlled the race throughout and kept the attacks to a minimum in the last 15 kms.

After a very easy start, the first move in the race came from the Canadian rider Czeslaw Lukasewicz who attacked with around 40 kms to ride. As the attacks were brought back, others went and soon the peloton was reduced in size with many riders going out the back.

A group of 5 riders formed around 20 kms from the end and Sweet was in this selection. They established a 1 minute lead very quickly and they were all working well. England and Northern Ireland riders were thwarted by the blocking strategy of the Australian and Canadian teams who both had riders in the top group.

  1. Jay Sweet (Australia) 			     4.31.56
  2. Rosli Effandy (Malaysia)
  3. Eric Wolhberg (Canada)
  4. David George (South Africa)  			0.01
  5. Paul Esposti (Wales)  			 	0.03
  6. Brian Walton (Canada)  			 	0.20
  7. Chris Lillywhite (England) 			0.23
  8. Scott McGrory (Australia)
  9. Czeslaw Lukasewicz (Canada)
 10. Mahadzir Hamad (Malaysia)
 11. Robert Holden (Isle of Man)
 12. Connor Henry (Northern Ireland)
 13. Chris Walker (England)  			 	0.31   
 14. Gord Fraser (Canada)
 15. Stuart O'Grady (Australia)
 16. Neil Teggart (Northern Ireland)
 17. Brendon Vesty (New Zealand)
 18. Jacques Fullard (South Africa)
 19. Elliot Hubbard (Bermuda)
 20. Chris Newton (England)
 21. Julian Winn (Wales)
 22. John Tanner (England)
 23. Sylyain Beauchamp (Canada)
 24. Dennis Easton (Northern Ireland)        		1.50
 25. Scott Guyton (New Zealand)
 26. Malcolm Lange (South Africa)       		2.05 
 27. Thomas Evans (Northern Ireland)       		2.34
 28. Samuel Firby (Jersey)  			 	2.40 
 29. Matthew White (Australia)  			5.36
 30. M. Kumaresan (Malaysia)  			 	8.59
 31. Graeme Miller (New Zealand)  			9.43
 32. Glen Mitchell (New Zealand)
 33. Simon Kessler (South Africa)
 34. Mannie Heymans (Namibia)  			       13.57
 35. Frank Bombosch (Namibia)
 36. Christian Spence (Jersey)
 37. Andrew Roche (Isle of Man)
 38. Ian Chivers (Northern Ireland)
 39. Musairi Musa (Malaysia)    		       15.46
 40. Tsen Seong Hoong (Malaysia)
 41. David McCall (Northern Ireland)    	       18.34
 42. David Hobson (Guernsey)
 43. Maurice Waweru (Kenya)  			       18.39
 44. Crispine Omondi (Kenya)
 45. Alistair Andrews (South Africa) 		       20.12
 46. Steve Sterritt (Bermuda)
 47. Mathews Maina (Kenya)
 48. Manny Helmot (Guernsey)
 49. Christopher Hedges (Bermuda)		       20.12
 50. Percy Navolo (Fiji)

Women's Road Race, 92 kms:

Canadian Lyne Bessette (23) exploited a mistake by Anna Wilson (Australia) to win the Women's 92 kms road race on the Shah Alam circuit. The silver medal went to Suzy Pryde (New Zealand) and bronze to Anna Wilson. Wilson, who has had great form in Europe leading up to this event, pulled her foot as they accelerated for the sprint and could not regain the momemtum. She told the press later that she had selected too big a gear to start the sprint. The three were going quite slow when the final surge for the line started. The attempt to get up to speed by Anna caused the mistake.

The race was marked by an early attack (first time up the hill) which saw four riders go clear (including the top 3 at the end). They quickly built up a one minute lead and were never headed despite attempts by Kathy Watt and Linda Jackson to bridge the gap later in the race.

Canadian Linda Jackson was highly critical of defending champion Kathy Watt after the race. She had the audacity to challenge Australia's selection of Watt. She claimed that another Australian rider Karen Barrow attempted to force Watt off the circuit when Watt tried to gain contact with the breakaway group of 4 which contained Anna Wilson.

She said: "I think everyone saw Australia worked really well together today, except for Kathy Watt. Kathy is attacking and her teammate, the one with the blond hair, she looks like a track rider, comes in front and tries to run her into the gutter. Another Australian. They were so upset she was doing this. It was comical, I couldn't believe it. She is not a team player. I can't understand why the Australians keep selecting her. She started jumping really hard to get up to the group in front of her. But she has a teammate up there. So every time she would jump to get to the front, I just sat on her wheel. She did this over and over and over again and her teammates are like 'Kathy, Kathy, stop!', but she didn't listen."

Jackson also said she did not get on with Watt. It was interesting though. Jackson full of contempt for Kathy, also tried to run down the break which contained her teammate and eventual winner Lyn Bessette. Ah, but this was on coach's orders!! Sounds like hypocrasy to me.

For her part, Watt said that the team rode well together.

  1. Lyne Bessette (Canada) 			     2.24.59 
  2. Susannah Pryde (New Zealand)
  3. Anna Wilson (Australia)
  4. Louise Jones (Wales) 				1.36 
  5. Kathy Watt (Australia)				1.39 
  6. Linda Jackson (Canada)				1.40 
  7. Tracey Gaudry (Australia)				4.42 
  8. Juanita Feldhahn (Australia)			4.48 
  9. Joanna Lawn (New Zealand)				4.48 
 10. Jacinta Coleman (New Zealand)			4.49
 11. Elizabeth Tadich (Australia)			8.15 
 12. Andrea Hannos (Canada)
 13. Annie Gariepy (Canada)
 14. Sally Boyden (England)
 15. Kimberly Langton (Canada)
 16. Anriette Schoeman (South Africa)
 17. Melanie Szubrycht (England) 
 18. Ruth Ellway (England) 
 19. Ronel Van Wyk (South Africa) 
 20. Rebecca Bailey (New Zealand) 
 21. Bianca Netzler (Samoa) 
 22. Angela Hunter (England) 
 23. Anne Samplonius (Canada)
 24. Maria Hassan (New Zealand) 			12.48 
 25. Karin Avenant (South Africa)			23.42

 26. Karen Barrow (Australia)
 27. Sara Symington (England)
 28. Maria Lawrence (England)
 29. Claire Thoms (Fiji) 
 30. Sisilia Gravelle (Fiji) 
 31. Noor Asrina Sulaiman (Malaysia) 
 32. Conny Kleynhans (Namibia) 
 33. Anke Erlank (South Africa) 
 34. Clare Greenwood (Wales) 
 35. Megan Hughes (Wales)