Cycling: England claim clean sweep despite near miss

England's track cyclists had to negotiate a near-accident in a city centre street before earning their first-ever clean sweep of Commonwealth medals on the opening day of competition.

Paul Manning, Rob Hayles and Stephen Cummings, respectively gold, silver and bronze medallists in the individual pursuit, were almost knocked over by a car as they cycled to the arena from the Athletes' Village.

Manning, 31, from Sutton Coldfield said that such incidents went with the territory for cyclists. Five years ago he required two operations on his arm after a car knocked him off his bike near Stockport.

"More often than not you don't actually come off, but you'll have a close call," he said. "We had one on the way down here today - a driver not giving us any room. This guy decided to come very close, so we said, 'Why are you coming so close?' He didn't like it. Rob was challenging him because he thought he'd been drinking and he didn't really persist after that."

An individual gold had been a long time coming for Manning, who has been in the team since 1999 and earned a bronze at the last Commonwealth Games in Manchester.

Hayles had been seeking the same distinction since joining the team in 1993, and the top podium place appeared his for the taking halfway through the 4,000m ride, but he fell away finishing in 4min 28.616sec behind Manning, who recorded 4:23.799.

"I'm gutted," Hayles said. "I played to win."

Now both men are looking forward with confidence to tomorrow's team pursuit event, in which they both won gold at last year's World Championships.

"I had to go with about four laps left because I knew Rob had a really good finish," said Manning, who had posted the fastest qualifying time. "I knew I was in with a chance of a medal after getting bronze in Manchester.

"Now, I want to concentrate on the team event. Winning that would mean more to me and tonight's result has given us a lot of confidence."

A clean sweep of sorts had been predicted for the first night of the cycling, Scotland's Olympic 1km time-trial champion Chris Hoy suggested that the medals could be shared between himself, his team-mate Craig MacLean and England's 2000 Olympic champion, Jason Queally.

Hoy was nearly right as he and Queally made the podium, but not in the positions expected as the Englishman beat him, and both were beaten by a somewhat surprised home competitor, Ben Kersten.

Having ridden third from last, the young Australian grapsed victory as first Queally and then Hoy failed to better his time of 1: 01.815.

"I never expected to win," said Kersten. "These were unbeatable guys. As they went round one by one my emotions just took over."

England's medal tally was completed by a silver from Victoria Pendleton in the 500m time-trial behind Australia's Anna Meares.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Technical Author / Multimedia Writer

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This recognized leader in providing software s...

Recruitment Genius: Clinical Lead / RGN

£40000 - £42000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: IT Sales Consultant

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT support company has a n...

Recruitment Genius: Works Engineer

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A works engineer is required in a progressive ...

Day In a Page

Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent