Mark Downey came agonisingly close to a medal in the sprint for gold in the Men’s Road Race at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in Brisbane, Australia. Racing for Northern Ireland, Downey finished fourth with the same finishing time as the winner in the 168.3km race. The men’s race was won by Australia’s Steele Von Hoff in a time of 3.57.01. Jonathan Mould (Wales) won silver, and South Africa’s Clint Hendricks denied the Dromore man a podium finish by pipping him for bronze.
In the women’s 112.2km Road Race Lydia Boylan finished in 32nd position, ten minutes adrift of winner Chloe Hoskins (Australia). Silver went to New Zealand’s Georgia Williams and bronze to Danielle Rowe (Wales), in a five-bike sprint for gold.
“I’ve mixed emotions right now,” explained a slightly disappointed Downey after the race. The Team Wiggins rider added “I have to accept it. If I was good enough for third I’d have got my medal. I rode a great race today and was in great company racing all the way to the line with them, attacking and so on.”
Last week Downey was disappointed when a race incident in the heats of the Points Race meant that he did not progress to the finals, an event in which the track specialist excels. After today’s effort he said – “I owed that race to a lot of people, after I was left with nothing last week. Obviously, I can’t dwell on not getting a medal though, my time will come.”
21-year-old Downey has enjoyed significant international success as a Junior and U23 rider already and has enjoyed the experience – “I’m happy I’m on the right path and enjoyed my first games experience. I look forward to enjoying my few days around Australia taking it all in. Watch this space.
Boylan has also enjoyed a positive experience, her second Commonwealth Games competing for Northern Ireland – “It was an amazing experience. There’s always a lot to learn from every major championship and my coach and I will definitely debrief and figure out where we go from here. The Northern Ireland team have been fantastic and there’s been a great atmosphere across all the sports here at the village.”
The WNT-Rotor Pro Cycling Team rider had track cycling as her focus for these Games, with a solid showing in the Scratch Race where she finished eighth. This focus cost a little in the road race – “I prepped more for the track for this Commonwealth Games, and it definitely showed on the climbs. It was tough going and the Aussies really lit it up on the climbs. Unfortunately, it was the end of my race on the fourth lap.”
This was the final cycling event at the Commonwealth Games which ran from the 4th – 15th April in the Gold Coast, Brisbane, Australia.
Throughout the Games the Northern Ireland team raced solidly to achieve five top ten results including today’s fourth place finish by Downey and seventh placed Marcus Christie in the Time Trials. In the mountain biking event Cameron Orr was eighth, and on the track Lydia Boylan finished eighth in the Scratch Race and Robyn Stewart ninth in the Sprint.
Men’s Road Race – 168.3km
Gold Steele Von Hoff (Australia) 3.57.01
Silver Jonathan Mould (Wales) +0.0
Bronze Clint Hendricks (South Africa) +0.0
4th Mark Downey (Northern Ireland) +0.0
22nd Cameron Orr (Northern Ireland) +57
28th Marc Potts (Northern Ireland) + 2.07
DNF Marcus Christie (Northern Ireland)
DNF Xeno Young (Northern Ireland)
Women’s Road Race – 112.2km
Gold Chloe Hoskins (Australia) 3.02.18
Silver Georgia Williams (New Zealand) +0.0
Bronze Danielle Rowe (Wales) +0.0
32nd Lydia Boylan (Northern Ireland) +10.30
DNF Eileen Burns (Northern Ireland)