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Chloe Hosking won the gold medal in the women’s road race, while Steele von Hoff “steals the show” in the men’s at the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.
The Australian women’s team executed their pre-race plan to perfection, with favourite Chloe Hosking taking gold in a bunch sprint to end the 112km GC2018 women’s road race.
A field of 49 set out for six laps of the 18km picturesque course which began just after sunrise at the Currumbin Beachfront.
Australia’s six-rider team of Hosking, Kat Garfoot, Sarah Roy, Shannon Malseed, Gracie Elvin and Tiffany Cromwell drove the pace at the front of the peloton for much of the first half of the race, with a solid effort from Malseed and Elvin to ensure Hosking was protected in the bunch.
In a nail biting final lap, the Australians held off several challenges, with Cromwell, Garfoot and Roy delivering Hosking in a clinical lead out to the line, which saw Hosking sweep past the front pack and to gold.
Georgia Williams of New Zealand and Welsh rider Danielle Rowe completed the podium, with Roy and Cromwell in fifth and sixth respectively.
Hosking had to fight back tears after crossing the line, and credited her five teammates for helping set up her triumph.
“I wish all six girls could have it (gold) on their CV, road cycling is such a cruel sport in that sense and I wouldn’t have won today without those girls and I’m so grateful,” she said.
The 27-year-old, who placed third in the road race at the 2010 Delhi Games and overcame a serious crash during a race in Europe just two weeks ago, said pride and relief were her over-riding emotions;
“It’s so special to win on home soil. People say for road cycling Commonwealth Games isn’t that big a deal but you know what? I’m Commonwealth Games champion and it’s a big deal.
“I’m so happy and really proud of myself.”
Just seven weeks after Steele Von Hoff broke four vertebrae in a high speed racing crash, cycling’s ‘Man of Steele’ has produced a superhuman performance to win the GC2018 men’s road race.
Wearing the green and gold at his first major Games at the age of 30, Von Hoff won a mass sprint to the finish of the 168.3km race at Currumbin Beachfront and teammate Cameron Meyer chased down the leaders over the final 10km. Welshman Jonathan Mould won silver, with South African Clint Hendricks took the bronze.
The entire Australia team of Von Hoff, Meyer, Matthew Hayman and workhorse Callum Scotson produced a herculean effort to set up Steele’s triumph.
Von Hoff said after the race; “I was so close to not making the cut, there were lots of people checking up on me and Cycling Australia checking up on me after my rehab, it was so good to have all that support.
“I don’t think I’ve absorbed it yet, but I will later on tonight.”
Team mate and GC2018 time trial gold medallist Cameron Meyer finished inside the top 10 in ninth place and was thrilled with the team’s performance to get Steele across the line in pole position;
“It was exactly the tactics we said. We had Steele for the sprint and me for the last lap. Matty (Hayman) set the tempo for me to attack. It’s really clicking.”
“There was pressure – the girls won this morning!” added Meyer.