The atmosphere was electric in the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome for the fourth and final day of the Track Cycling competition. Louise Haston and Aileen McGylnn claimed their second Silver of the Games, Katie Archibald took Bronze in the Points Race and, to top it off, there were two marriage proposals.
In the Women’s Para-Cycling 1,000m Time Trial B Tandem it was clear to see that World class competition was on offer, with times falling with every ride. First up for Scotland were Laura Cluxton and Fiona Duncan, setting a time of 1.12.132. Next up for Scotland were Sprint Silver medallists McGlynn and Haston who put in an incredible ride, crossing the line with a time of 1.10.543, a new personal best.
Finally, Team England’s Sprint Gold medallists were up and crossed the line in 1.08.187, putting the Scottish duo into second, claiming their second Silver of the Games with Australia’s Brandie O’Connor and Breanna Hargrave taking Bronze.
“It’s really, really good. We really wanted to win this one,” said Haston. “I’ve been saying for a while that ideally I’d like to win this but two Silver Commonwealth medals is absolutely brilliant. Sophie and Helen were absolutely fantastic, and that was a cracking ride, so well done to them.
“For me it’s the biggest competition of my career and I couldn’t have asked for more – two Silver medals- so I’m over the moon.”
“The aim was to go as hard as I could for the first 500m and try to hold on, so I think we did that. I’m happy with our ride, I didn’t expect them to go as fast, so hats off to them, they did a phenomenal ride.
“I’m just happy to come away with a Commonwealth Games medal to be honest, we always aim for a Gold medal but the English girls are at the top of their game. The competition here was the best in the world… so for us to come away with the silver medal we’re really delighted.”
Scots Laura Cluxton and Fiona Duncan placed 5th.
After a thrilling Tandem race it was the turn of Katie Archibald, Eileen Roe and Charline Joiner to get on the track in the Women’s 25km Points Race. Roe, Joiner and Archibald showed a fantastic display of team work to put Archibald in the right position for the final lap. As the bell rang out the leaders sprinted to the finish.
Archibald pipped Olympian Laura Trott to the post to take the five points, enough to give her the Bronze. Trott took three points, to give her the lead and take Gold with Welsh rider Elinor Barker claiming Silver, making it an all British line up on the podium.
“It’s that glorious moment when you cross the finish line, you’ve got about 10 minutes of just euphoria when you can’t feel anything, said Katie, “and that felt fantastic.”
An exhausted Archibald summed up what it took to push herself so hard:
“It’s an unbelievable pain. I remember my first Scottish National Points Race and I basically fell off my bike at the end. I had this kind of awakening moment where I remember this is what it feels like to empty yourself and it’s only very special occasions; that was one of them.
“That final sprint, it’s everything and beyond and it’s just knowing that, even if you think you’re clear, you go right past that finish line and that’s what the crowd allows really.”
In the Men’s 20km Scratch Race Qualifications all three Scottish riders, Evan Oliphant, Mark Stewart and Delhi Bronze medallist James McCallum made the final with the youngest member of Scotland’s cycling team, 18 year old Mark Stewart, riding to a remarkable sixth place at the end of the 80 lap race.
There were no Scottish riders present in the Keirin major final having all missed out on top three placings in the earlier second round. In the minor final Scottish riders Chris Pritchard and John Paul placed 9th and 11th respectively.
After his race, in a surprising turn of events, Scottish Rider Chris Pritchard got down on one knee and proposed to his long term girlfriend Amanda Ball. Later that evening Aileen McGlynn’s partner Graeme Hitchcliffe also popped the question… and they both said yes!
Team Scotland’s Cycling tally now stands at two Golds, two Silvers, a Bronze and two diamond rings.
Photo Credit: Getty Images