Commonwealth Games: Bobridge wins individual pursuit

Clean sweep for Australia on opening day of cycling

Jack Bobridge made it a clean sweep for Australia on the opening day of cycling at the 2010 Commonwealth Games today, winning the men's 4,000m individual pursuit gold medal.

Bobridge, 21, from South Australia, set a time of 4:17.495, edging out silver medallist Jesse Sergent of New Zealand in the Indira Gandhi velodrome, having set a Games record in qualifying.

It took more than a second-and-a-half off Australian Brad McGee's previous Games record set in Manchester in 2002. Michael Hepburn of Australia won the bronze.

"It's a fantastic start and will send our team spirit soaring," Bobridge said. "It was an awesome performance by our guys today. He (Sergent) fought me the whole way to the finish and I needed just to get out there and ride smooth. He came home very strong but I hung in."

Bobridge led by almost 1.5 seconds at the halfway point before Sergent, 22, began to reel him in. But the Australian, who produced the world's second-fastest 4,000m ride of all time at this year's national championships, was strong enough to hold off his rival and won by 0.338 seconds.

"I've been striving for this for a long time and I brought it home today. I'm stoked," said the champion. "I've shown before I can do world class times but I hadn't pulled it together before, so to do it here is unreal."

Bobridge has been tipped to become the greatest rider of a generation, with cycling legend Lance Armstrong describing him as "the real deal". He is the under-23 world time trial champion, was a member of the victorious team pursuit group that won the world title this year, and finished third in the individual pursuit at the same championships.

© AFP 2010

Back to top