Experienced tandem duo Neil Fachie and Craig MacLean snatched Scotland’s first Cycling Gold of the Games in the Men's 1,000 metre Time Trial B Tandem with a gutsy ride. As the final pair on the start sheet, watching all the other competitors set their times, it was a nail-biting wait to get on track in front of the home crowd that had gathered at the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome.
The Australians had set a fastest time of 1.02.096 to beat. After digging deep and giving it all they had, MacLean and Fachie crossed the line in spectacular style and made history by claiming the first ever Men's Para-Cycling Gold medal of the Commonwealth Games.
Fachie, exhausted but proud, said: “We've worked really hard for this and that ride was the most painful experience of either of our lives I think. So I think we deserve this medal and we want to celebrate it with the crowd because they've been fantastic.
“We've both stood on top of the podium many a time but you know, obviously, to do it for Scotland in Scotland is something most athletes can only dream of so it was a nice moment that we'll never forget.
“London was phenomenal and obviously the crowd there was slightly bigger, but I'll tell you the noise level was just as loud here and if it hadn't been for that crowd cheering us on at the end I'm not sure we would have made it round, we were going so slowly there at the end, we were hurting badly, but the crowd kept us going so I can't thank them enough for what they did.”
As the temperature soared outside the atmosphere inside heated up too. In the Individual Pursuit Katie Archibald, Scotland’s World Team Pursuit Champion went head to head with New Zealand's Jamie Nielsen in qualifying. Archibald, famous for her quirky style and multi coloured hair, walked away with a new personal best and Scottish Record which put her into the Bronze medal race against Australian rider Amy Cure. She gave it everything but couldn’t quite hold off the Australian in the fight for medals.
England's Joanna Rowsell put down a fantastic heat in the qualifying round, setting a new Commonwealth Games Record of 3:29.038, more than enough to put her into the Gold medal race, and went on to clinch the Gold from Cure’s team-mate Annette Edmondson.
In the same event Anna Turvey finished 12th, beating her Canadian opponent in qualifying and setting a new Scottish record, which was later re-broken by Archibald.
Next on the boards was the youngest member of Scotland's Cycling team, Mark Stewart, racing in the Men's 4,000 metre Individual Pursuit. The reigning British University Individual Pursuit Track Champion managed to catch his India opponent and clock a new Scottish Record to finish 11th overall. Australian riders Jack Bobridge and Alex Edmondson took Gold and Silver respectively, with New Zealand’s Marc Ryan taking Bronze.
Day 3 of the Track Cycling competition will see Scots take to the boards from 1100hrs.
Photo Credit: Jeff Holmes