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Manchester 2002 Commonwealth Games

Manchester, England, July 27 - August 3, 2002

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July 27 - Women's Road Time Trial, Rivington

Hughes proves the strongest

By Gerry McManus, cyclingnews.com correspondent

Canada's Clara Hughes won the first cycling gold medal of the commonwealth games in Manchester, England on Saturday 27th July. Her time of 34.51 saw her win the 14.6 mile/23.4 km event on the Rivington circuit near Bolton and demote defending champion Anna Millward (Australia) to silver medal position.

Only 20 riders started the event but all the participants were of high quality and Sharon Watterson (Isle of Man) had the unenviable task of being first off.

Fastest of group one at the first checkpoint was Scotland's Caroline Cook. Cook faded towards the end and was overtaken by Margaret Hemsley (Australia) whose time of 35.4 was enough to finish just off the podium in fourth spot.

At half distance and with one lap to go in group two, only 29 seconds separated the top five. Hughes was fastest in 17.29 and Lyne Bessette (Canada) behind by only one second and it looked like a Canadian one-two.

Anna Millward managed to pull back her seven-second deficit on Bessette and find another ten to take the silver as Hughes's strength took her on to victory.

Multiple world champion Nicole Cooke (Wales) started like a rocket down the start ramp but couldn't maintain her effort and was even caught by Millward for over two minutes eventually finishing in 10th.

Hughes was clearly delighted with her result: "I was training more for the individual pursuit but my coach said 'Clare, if you are good enough for the pursuit, you are good enough for the time-trial.' My race strategy was to simply go as fast as I could. I just pleased that both Lyne (Bessette) and I finished on the podium."


Photos by Gerry McManus


1 Clara Hughes (Canada)                      34.51.66 (40.273 km/h)
2 Anna Millward (Australia)                   0.09.11
3 Lyne Bessette (Canada)                      0.18.76
4 Margaret Hemsley (Australia)                0.50.17
5 Sara Carrigan (Australia)                   0.51.99
6 Kirsty Robb (New Zealand)                   0.56.22
7 Susan Palmer-Komar (Canada)                 1.01.48
8 Frances Newstead (England)                  1.18.30
9 Melissa Holt (New Zealand)                  1.33.15
10 Nicole Cooke (Wales)                       2.23.84
11 Sally Ashbridge (Scotland)                 2.31.01
12 Melanie Sears (England)                    3.15.00
13 Caroline Cook (Scotland)                   3.16.09
14 Melanie Claude (Bermuda)                   3.46.13
15 Julia Hawley (Bermuda)                     3.59.32
16 Nina Davies (Wales)                        4.23.93
17 Ann Bowditch (Guernsey)                    4.35.49
18 Katrina Hair (Scotland)                    4.53.63
19 Jacqui Fletcher (Isle of Man)              5.11.90
20 Sharon Watterson (Isle of Man)             5.37.75