Pedal power pushes Australia past 40 gold
Track cycling world champion Cameron Meyer has returned to the road with instant success as he and Gold Coast local Katrin Garfoot won their time trials and pushed Australia past 40 gold medals at the Commonwealth Games.
Meyer dominated the hills and heat of the 38.5km Currumbin road circuit, finishing in 48 minutes 13.04 seconds to reel in New Zealand's early pacesetter, dual Olympic rowing gold medallist Hamish Bond, who ended up with bronze.
German-born Garfoot was equally dominant in the women's 25.5km race, winning in a time of 35:08.09, nearly a minute ahead of New Zealand's defending champion Linda Villumsen.
With nine world titles and three Commonwealth Games gold medals on the track, Meyer's road success dates back to the 2011 Tour Down Under and the team time trial stage of the 2013 Tour de France.
Well don’t ask me how that happened. Something special to win the Commonwealth Games Time Trial. To share the moment with @callum.scotson after his great ride was pure Gold. Thank you Team Australia. A memory that won’t be forgotten in my career. Bring on the road race this Saturday. @gc2018 @cyclingaustralia @commgamesaus
But, after missing out on his favoured 40km points race on the velodrome this week, this is his first Games gold on the road, two weeks after deciding to take on the individual time trial on the Gold Coast.
"I broke my collarbone in the last road race I did (two-and-a-half years ago), and that put me off, but I'm really happy I gave it a second shot," he said.
Meyer and Garfoot's victories took Australia to 41 gold medals halfway through day six of competition, 18 clear of second placed England on the medal table.
"There's so much motivation going around after the first week with other athletes winning gold," said Meyer.
But Australia's success has been heavily reliant on swimming and cycling which account for 32 - or 78 per cent - of the gold medals.
With swimming finishing on Tuesday and only four more medals to come in cycling, the host nation will have to turn to other sports to retain its dominance, with big hopes for medals in team events and athletics.