Both the men’s and women’s road races will take place in Warwick this weekend at the Commonwealth Games 2022.
Many top British riders will be present on the course including Geraint Thomas of Team Wales. Thomas won the Commonwealth Games road race the last time he started it in Glasgow eight years ago.
Since then he has won the Tour de France in 2018, and the Welshman was the only rider to be able to get near Jonas Vingegaard and Tadej Pogačar at this year’s edition of the French Grand Tour.
Thomas finished third overall, and backed up his form in France by claiming a bronze medal in the time trial in Wolverhampton on Thursday. The event was won by Rohan Dennis of Australia with Team England’s Fred Wright claiming the silver medal.
Grace Brown took the gold medal in the women’s time trial and will be one of the favourites to do the double in the women’s road race this weekend.
Both races are likely to be a cagey affair on a course that very much suits the riders with a faster finish.
Coverage of the events (opens in new tab) will begin at 7:45 am on the BBC.
KEY ROUTE INFORMATION
Both the men’s and women’s road races take place on a course around the towns of Warwick and Royal Leamington Spa (opens in new tab). The men will tackle 160 kilometres over ten laps of the rolling course whereas the women will take on seven laps totalling 112 kilometres.
Both events will start and finish on Myton Road in the town, near Myton Fields park, and the route will see the riders pass by the historical landmark of Warwick Castle which was built by William the Conqueror in 1068.
The relatively flat nature of the course is likely to favour a sprinter, although a bunch sprint is far from a foregone conclusion. Each lap of the course will see the riders gain just 130 metres of elevation and the route lacks any major climbs that are likely to do any damage within the field of riders.
The women’s race will get underway at 08:00 am and is expected to conclude at 11:30 am. Action in the men’s race will begin at 12:30 pm and finish at 16:30 pm.
RIDERS TO WATCH
With the course being on relatively flat terrain, Mark Cavendish will be a huge favourite to take home the gold medal for the Isle of Man.
However, due to the lack of well drilled big teams in a race such as this, a bunch sprint isn’t the only possible outcome. That said despite being known as an out and out sprinter Cavendish can more than hold his own in other racing situations. The Manxman took the honours in the road race at the British National Championships after being in a large breakaway for the entire day.
If Cavendish misses out, then another contender for the Isle of Man will be Matt Bostock who races on the road for the WivSunGod team. Bostock was involved in a heavy crash on the track last weekend and needed hospital treatment. However the 25-year-old was pictured on a ride with Cavendish on social media (opens in new tab) and is a proven fast finisher.
Fred Wright of Team England took the silver medal in the men’s time trial and is likely to be in contention for the gold again this time around. Wright was in impressive form at the Tour de France for Bahrain Victorious and went close to a stage victory on several occasions. Ethan Hayter of Team England will also be a solid bet to challenge for a medal. The Ineos Grenadiers rider was crowned British National time trial earlier this year, he also won two stages at the Tour de Romandie in May.
Even though the course on paper suits the fast men, the experience of Geraint Thomas could see the former Tour de France winner challenge for a medal. The 36-year-old won the road race at the 2014 Commonwealth Games and took a bronze medal in the time trial on Thursday.
In the women’s race, Abi Smith of Team England will be one to watch. Smith rides on the road for EF Education-TIBCO-SVB. The 20-year-old performed well in her team colours at the Giro Donne earlier this year and rode a steady race at the Women’s Tour in June. A punchy rider, who won’t be phased by the site of any climbing on offer will be a big hope for England. Anna Henderson will be another challenger for the team, Henderson missed out on the gold medal in the time trial by just 33 seconds.
The strongest nation in the women’s race will be Australia. Grace Brown is in a rich vein of form and impressed at the Women’s Tour in June. Brown claimed the gold medal in the time trial ahead of Henderson and Georgia Williams. Williams is also likely to be in contention in the action around Warwick.
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