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Manchester 2002 Commonwealth Games
Manchester, England, July 27 - August 3, 2002
July 27 - Men's Road Time Trial, Rivington
Clean sweep for Australia in Commonwealth time-trial
By Gerry McManus, cyclingnews.com correspondent
Cadel Evans led an Australian 1-2-3 in the 29.2/47 km mile time-trial in Rivington on Saturday 27th July. With an astonishing performance against the clock, he finished in a time of 1:00:53 nearly two minutes up on team mate Michael Rogers and Nathan O'Neill a further 30 seconds back.
With four of the 7.3 mile laps to be completed by the 44 entries, the race was split into four seeded groups. First from group one was Kris Hedges (Bermuda) in 1:08:11. The 22-year-old is hoping to gain a professional contract in the U.S and his extended time on the leader board cannot have done his aspirations any harm.
It was Michael Rogers that set the standard from the second group with his time of 1:02:50. Firmly on top of the leader board, it was clear that only a super-human effort would dislodge him.
The challenge from top British time-trialist Michael Hutchinson (Northern Ireland) didn't appear despite his best efforts. The tough course didn't allow the riders to get into a rhythm that Hutchinson thrives on. Hutchinson described the course as " the most technical I have ever ridden on" . Teammate Brendan Doherty managed to stay upright after the experienced road-man overshot a corner. David McCann (Northern Ireland) couldn't show the form that won him the home championship event in June.
Evans was still three seconds behind Rogers on the leader board after his first of four laps but by the end of lap two; he had turned it into a 17 second lead and continued to pull away.
When the top seeded group started all eyes were on the defending champion Eric Wohlberg. The 36-year-old Canadian rode superbly to finish a creditable fifth but this was improved to fourth following the disqualification of England's Stuart Dangerfield, who was adjudged to have slipstreamed Nathan O'Neill despite directions of the commisaire not to do so.
O'Neill was only one second behind Evans after one lap and was expected to challenge for the gold, only to fall back on the subsequent laps. O'Neill's preference was not to be in radio communication with the team car and he was not aware of the time gaps. He did claim afterwards that his battle with Dangerfield was a "little annoying" after he caught and passed Dangerfield. Dangerfield appeared to pick up his pace and attacked with 5km to go to take 17 seconds back but had obviously fallen foul of the rulebook.
Charly Wegelius (England) put in a good challenge in fourth place after the first lap but the Mapei-Quick Step rider faded to finish in fifth.
Evans was pleased with his form after a very heavy early season race programme. "I've done the Tour of Romandy, Tour of Italy and I needed to be going fast in January, right through to the Giro in June. If you had seen me in the last week of the Giro, I had just run out of gas."
With his good form, he could be expected to be team leader for the Commonwealth road race too? "No, I think the guys from the Tour (de France) will be in better shape for this race, we will see how the race goes. If it's a long steady race it might suit me but if it comes down to a small group then Stuey (O'Grady), Brad (McGee) and Baden (Cooke) are all going well too."
"If we work very well as a team, then the race should hopefully take care of itself."
"I have been specifically training for the time-trial over the last couple few weeks and it's paid off."
Photos by Gerry McManus
1 Cadel Evans (Australia) 1.00.53.50 (46.112 km/h) 2 Michael Rogers (Australia) 1.56.86 3 Nathan O'neill (Australia) 2.27.19 4 Eric Wohlberg (Canada) 3.36.26 5 Charles Wegelius (England) 3.50.93 6 David George (South Africa) 4.00.00 7 James Piri (South Africa) 4.03.78 8 David Mccann (Northern Ireland) 4.31.14 9 Gordon Mccauley (New Zealand) 4.50.88 10 Heath Blackgrove (New Zealand) 4.56.28 11 Glen Mitchell (New Zealand) 5.04.56 12 Julian Winn (Wales) 5.32.70 13 Nicholas Patrick White (South Africa) 5.38.98 14 Andrew Roche (Isle of Man) 5.58.84 15 Michael Hutchinson (Northern Ireland) 6.23.46 16 Jason Macintyre (Scotland) 6.39.11 17 Mark Walters (Canada) 6.55.64 18 Kris Hedges (Bermuda) 7.17.60 19 Duncan Urquhart (Scotland) 7.33.21 20 Anthony Malarczyk (Wales) 8.19.10 21 Paul Sheppard (Wales) 8.33.05 22 Hudson Mathieu (Seychelles) 9.58.09 23 David Kinja Njau (Kenya) 10.47.92 24 Chris Spence (Jersey) 11.44.69 25 Brendan Doherty (Northern Ireland) 12.10.30 26 Erik Hoffmann (Namibia) 12.39.39 27 Paul Brehaut (Guernsey) 13.21.04 28 Jonathan David Massie (Bahamas) 15.25.35 29 Charles Bryan (Anguilla) 15.44.67 30 Martinien Tega (Cameroon) 16.12.29 31 Ronnie Bryan (Anguilla) 17.14.29 32 Andy Rose (Seychelles) 17.20.85 33 Kris Pradel (Anguilla) 17.22.52 34 Francois Talla (Cameroon) 17.46.19 35 Serge Pitouo (Cameroon) 18.32.20 36 Graeme Hatcher (Isle of Man) 18.44.02 37 Maimba Malako (Zambia) 19.25.13 38 Bruce Nkhoma (Zambia) 19.51.03 39 Barron Archiebold Musgrove (Bahamas) 20.13.54 40 George Ochieng Onaye (Kenya) 20.17.62 41 David Ngugi Mwangi (Kenya) 22.17.85 42 Sammy Joseph (St. Lucia) 23.28.69 43 Sydney Charles (St. Lucia) 24.24.91 DQ Stuart Dangerfield (England)