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Manchester 2002 Commonwealth Games
Manchester, England, July 27 - August 3, 2002
August 2 - Men's Points Race, National Cycling Centre
Kiwi denies Australia another gold
By Gerry McManus, Cyclingnews correspondent in Manchester
Greg Henderson (NZL) was the worthy winner of the men's Commonwealth games points race, finishing the 120 lap/30km with 35 points.
Australia 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 the games.
The 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.
Tony 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 sprint.
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.
More 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.
England 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."
Photos supplied by D.J. Clark
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)