Para-cyclist James Ball won Wales’ first medal at the 2022 Commonwealth Games, a silver in the men’s tandem B 1,000m time trial. Along with pilot Matt Rotherham, the pair finished behind Scotland’s Neil Fachie on day one of the Games.
James would also go on to win Wales’ first gold of the competition with victory in the tandem sprint. He and partner Matt stamped their authority from the qualifying stage when they clocked 9.851 in a flying lap, going on to claim a maiden gold.
Day one was a success all round with trio Rhian Edmunds, Emma Finucane and Lowri Thomas (of Wales Racing Academy) working together to win bronze in the women’s team sprint, clocking 47.767 seconds to pip Australia for a place on the podium by more than three tenths of a second.
On day two, Carmarthen cyclist Emma Finucane revelled in beating English rivals en route to her second medal of the Commonwealth Games. She beat GB star Sophie Capewell in a best-of-three straight-up sprint to take a bronze medal at Lee Valley VeloPark.
Day three saw Swansea rider Eluned King bag points race bronze in the women’s 25km, picking up 32 points in intermediate sprints to pip Canada’s Maggie Coles-Lyster to the podium for her maiden major international medal.
In the final race of the third day, Wales Racing Academy alum Will Roberts got in the right move at the right time which resulted in a bronze medal in the men’s scratch race. Will has been on the Welsh Cycling performance pathway since his teens and this competition was the result of over 10 years of hard work.
And finally, Geraint Thomas took home a bronze medal after an early crash sadly interfered with his chances of gold in the men’s individual time trial. His eagerly anticipated duel with Aussie, and eventual gold medallist, Rohan Dennis was over within two minutes when Thomas misjudged an early corner and clipped the barriers, which sent him tumbling to the tarmac. It cost him around 30 seconds but, remarkably, he was second when he went through the first time check at just under nine kilometres, trailing leader Dennis by around 30 seconds, eventually claiming bronze.
Overall, a fantastic performance from the Welsh Cycling team and we are so proud to be a part of their journey to the Games.
The purpose of Wales Racing Academy was to develop riders so they can realise their potential on the bike and give them an environment to excel and to perform on the biggest of platforms.
It’s thrilling to see that academy has played a vital role in helping ten athletes represent Team Wales in one of the world’s most renowned sporting competitions.
A huge well done to all the medal winners and particularly to Will Roberts, Steff Lloyd, Nia Holt, Lowri Thomas, Harvey McNaughton, Alex Pope, Amy Cole, Anna Morris, Joe Holt, and Ellie Coster on representing Wales Racing Academy on one of the biggest stages in sport.
Find out more about SD’s work with Welsh Cycling here.
Photo of Will Roberts courtesy of SW Pix.