Davis underlines dominance
Isle of Man's Cavendish loses touch on final lap
By Jonathan Turner. Last Updated: 10/10/10 2:09pm
Davis: Another Aussie gold
Allan Davis underlined Australia's cycling dominance when sprinting to victory in the men's road race at the Commonwealth Games as Scotland's David Millar took bronze.
The 168 kilometres contest may have taken place on a pan-fat course - 12 circuits around New Delhi - but the expected bunch finish didn't materialise as 11 riders had worked themselves clear of the main group with nearly four laps remaining.
Crucially, the Isle of Man's Mark Cavendish was one of those men and the presence of the world's best sprinter meant that attacks came thick and fast as the others tried to shake him off.
That finally happened with around five kilometres to go as Millar, Australian Chris Sutton, Hayden Roulston of New Zealand and Northern Ireland's David McCann put daylight between themselves and the rest.
But just when it looked as if they had it between them Davis, third in the World Championships road race in Geelong a week earlier, managed to bridge the gap to put Australia in pole position with two men in the front group of five.
And they made that advantage count, Sutton leading out the sprint before Davis finished it off in style as he got the better of Roulston, with Millar taking the bronze.
Sutton was four seconds back in fourth but crossed the line with arms raised in triumph for his teammate despite missing out on a medal himself.
McCann, who had helped shape the race after going more than three minutes clear in an earlier break with New Zealand's Gordon McCauley, had to settle for fifth while pre-race favourite Cavendish came home in seventh, 59 seconds adrift.
Davis' victory took Australia's tally of gold medals in the 16 cycling events so far on the road and track to an astonishing 14.
Bonus for Millar
Millar, whose main aim is Wednesday's time-trial, was delighted to win Scotland's first-ever medal in a Commonwealth Games road race and said afterwards: "I enjoyed racing, I really wanted to do well and I really wanted to show the jersey off.
"I couldn't believe it when I kept attacking, kept whittling it down, I was like 'this is on'. It's a pleasant surprise and means a huge amount. I was presuming I'd do it on Wednesday, so it's a bonus and a great honour.
"I really enjoyed racing with this jersey and with the team - it was a good experience."
Cavendish too was happy with his team's performance, saying: "I had to give everything I had after the guys rode incredibly. I couldn't be more proud of the guys."
Alex Dowsett was the leading English rider in 14th place, 4:20 behind Davis.