A brilliant united effort by the New Zealand men’s road cycling team has culminated in an awesome silver medal performance for Pro Tour racer Hayden Roulston of Ashburton just behind Australian Alan Davis.
The team of Roulston, McCauley, Bauer, Bewely, Ryan and Avery took it to the 133 strong peloton at km one when McCauley engaged a signature move and went "lone wolf". Accompanied by other favorites Bewely, Ryan and McCann of Northern Island the group built up a 1.30 lead until McCann clearly unhappy with the progress went clear with the every optimistic McCauley. The two Mcs riding an impressive two up effort put a further 1.30 into the peloton topping out at three minutes until the awaited reaction from the peloton exploded off the front joining the duo.
Diligent riding from kiwis Roulston and Bauer saw them make the junction and enjoy a potential race winning margin for a lap until race favorites Davis and Sutton of Australia, Millar, Rollin, and the man they love to hate Mark the missile Cavendish joined the breakaway bringing things together at the head of the field.
With three to go it was Bauer’s turn, the current NZ Champion lit things up going out to a 30 second lead and holding it for a lap, eventually succumbing to the heat and the pace being set behind from the Scot David Millar.
Last lap antics saw Cavendish on everyone’s radar knowing if the Manxman was in contention in the home straight the win would be going home to the island nation. With Cavendish unhitched by the strong efforts of Roulston and Millar things were looking up for the NZ team as Roulston went clear with Millar, Sutton and McCann until an incredible late charge from Davis saw him join the duo in the final minutes of the race.
With two Australians in contention and both sprinters the balance of power had swung in favor to the men in yellow as the sprint opened up, but Roulston committed to the team effort charged down the outside of Suttons lead out momentarily boxing in Davis and looking like he had a chance at the win with clear road ahead, until Davis pounced on the kiwi's wheel and took the win by a length with Millar third.