Commonwealth

Words by Aaron Scott

on 23/07/2014 09:59:10

The Tour started in a blaze of an idyllic British Summer. There were British hopefuls in the running for yellow and green and by the end of the week rain was washing chalked slogans from Yorkshire Tarmac and and success for British riders had been reduced to nil. Since then other contenders have dropped Contador has gone, Tour stalwart Cancellara has called time and a field that would have theoretically provided an exciting race in the mountains now looks like a one horse race with Nibali leaping ahead.

If you want cycling excitement, there is now only one place to look. Glasgow.

The Commonwealth games is viewed as many as a poor mans Olympics. Instead of a torch that's handed country to country its a Baton. A bit of wood that's not on fire basically. Many people when asked if they will be watching the commonwealth games will express a look of mild confusion followed by 'Oh? That's this week is it'?

But if you want Gladiatorial cycling this year it's the Commonwealth you should watch.

GRUDGE MATCH

England versus the world. England are currently the track super power, but it's a close run thing. Scotland poses some heavy weights and Australia have always fought a close contest, both would dearly love to give the English a kicking on the boards.

Wiggo will ride the Team Pursuit only and will be targeting gold. Everything is harmonious in the Team Sky camp with differences resolved and Wiggins looking to target the hour with Brailsford's support but everyone knows there is maybe a very small hatchet that will be satisfyingly buried if he finds himself on the podium.

He's not the only rider with something to prove. David Millar will be defending his TT title and as a world renowned master of this discipline a win would certainly send a message that he's not done yet after being dropped by Garmin for the Tour.

Anna Meares is the flag bearer for Australia this year which goes to show the hopes she carries. Meares was the nemesis of Victoria Pendleton and hasn't lost any of that aggression and if she takes a medal on the 500 TT she will become the most Australia's most successful female commonwealth cyclist. That's motivation if you ever needed it. Her opponents have youthful folly but Meares experience under pressure make her a serious concern.

Scotland's Cycling Team is 31 strong with a current world champion in paralympian Kate Archibald and will be looking to take England down a peg or two on home soil.

Although with a side consisting of Olympic champions Laura Trott, Dani King, Joanna Rowsell, Ed Clancy, Jason Kenny, Steven Burke, Philip Hindes, and Wiggo it'll be a tough job.