Australia’s Georgia Baker took a superb victory to secure the gold medal in the women's road race at the Commonwealth Games 2022.
It was Australia’s second gold medal on the road at the games after Grace Brown’s victory in Thursday’s time trial in Wolverhampton.
In glorious weather in Warwick, Baker timed her final acceleration to perfection to hold off Neah Evans of Team Scotland in a reduced bunch sprint, with her compatriot, Sarah Roy, taking the bronze medal.
After the finish, Baker was quick to highlight the importance of her teammates.
She said: “It was a real team effort. We had a race plan, it was for me to win, and they executed it so well, I wish I could split this in six. It was a real credit to the team, I’m glad I could pull it off for them.”
Another medal capped an incredible week for Baker after she had already won gold medals on the track in the points race and team pursuit, to add to what has been an excellent games for Australia.
At the end of the gruelling 112 kilometre race, Baker still had enough teammates in place for them to launch a perfect lead out for the 27-year-old. Australia were visible at the front of the action for much of the finale, snuffing out several attacks and preventing late moves from other countries to spoil the party.
Their work in the closing stages ensured that Baker was delivered to the final few kilometres before she then had enough power to overcome Evans who took silver, with Sarah Roy snatching the bronze.
Coming into the road race, Grace Brown was in a rich vein of form and after time trial gold, was the favourite for many to do the double.
The action got underway in near perfect racing conditions as the riders began the seven laps of the course around the streets of Warwick.
The flat nature of the course meant that it was always going to be difficult for a breakaway to form and solo riders to launch attacks. Anna Henderson of Team England was caught up in much of the early action, launching several moves to try and force a gap to the main field but she was quickly cancelled out.
Other riders would try their own attacks but they were to no avail, with nobody gaining more than a few seconds over the chasing group.
Australia’s will to win was clear from the beginning, with them maintaining a presence at the head of the peloton for much of the 112 kilometres. The six-rider squad each posed an equal threat to the medal positions, and the well-drilled nature of the team in yellow then ensured that they were in the best possible position for the run-in.
With the finish rapidly approaching, the Australian's then put the hammer down on the rest of the contenders to ensure they would take home a medal.
Baker was then able to power clear of her competitors to secure the win and another impressive gold. Try as she might, Evans was unable to close on the flying Australian and Roy completed the podium to cap a dominant performance from the team.
The rest of the remaining field all came in behind the three medallists and were given the same time.
COMMONWEALTH GAMES WOMEN'S ROAD RACE RESULTS
1: Georgia Baker (Australia) in 2-44-46
2: Neah Evans (Scotland),
3: Sarah Roy (Australia),
4: Vera Looser (Namibia),
5: Maggie Coles-Lyster (Canada),
6: Teniel Campbel (Trinidad and Tobago),
7: Simone Boillard (Canada),
8: Eluned King (Wales),
9: Antri Christoforou (Cyprus),
10: Alice Barnes (England), all at same time
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