Olympic champion Rowe powers to bronze in colours of adopted Wales

Olympic champion Rowe powers to bronze in colours of adopted Wales
By Sportsbeat

14/04/2018 at 06:23

A change is as good as a rest and Dani Rowe proved that with a switch in allegiances producing a first Commonwealth Games medal.

A change is as good as a rest and Dani Rowe proved that with a switch in allegiances producing a first Commonwealth Games medal.

An Olympic champion at London 2012 for Team GB, Rowe - then King - rode a full programme for Team England four years ago in Glasgow.

But having lived in Cardiff with her now husband Matt, she turned out on Australia's Gold Coast in the red and black of Wales.

And after an 11th-place finish in the Glasgow road race, when riding for eventual winner Lizzie Deignan, then Armitstead, she claimed a bronze medal in a bunch sprint.

"It feels amazing. It was my aim for a long, long time, the Commonwealth Games. So I'm really happy that the hard work has paid off," said the 27-year-old.

"It's just been fantastic and I feel like an honorary Welsh girl - I hope they'll all welcome be back into Wales when I get back.

"My family are also here so it's just so nice to be able to share that with them.

"My family and husband have to put up with a lot. Athletes aren't the easiest to deal with so it's a victory for them as well.

"I always love competing and now I'm representing Wales as well, it's really good.

"But I've been waiting a long, long, time. I was getting itchy feet for the last couple of weeks. I've been out here nearly three weeks now so it's nice to have got on the road and to come away with a bronze medal - it's amazing."

The 112.2km race comprised six laps of a circuit with the finish line on Currumbin beachfront, just south of Gold Coast.

Jersey's Kim Ashton took the race on early and held a 94 second advantage at the end of the first lap.

But that was down to 16 seconds come the end of the second lap before the bunch, controlled by the strong Australian team, left her dangling off the front to prevent further attacks.

It all came back together on the third lap and while some small groups did chip off the front they were always brought to heel by the Aussies, who were working for their star sprinter Chloe Hosking.

It was a plan that paid off on the finish line as Hosking sprinted to victory from a group of 13 riders, while Elinor Barker led out Rowe to take bronze behind New Zealand's Georgia Williams.

Barker crossed the line seventh, with Scotland's Neah Evans eighth ahead of English duo Melissa Lowther and Hayley Simmonds, who rounded out the top ten.

Lowther was making her racing debut on the Gold Coast after an admin error prevented her from taking to the start line in the women's time trial.

"Ahead of the race I was pretty all over the place mentally. One second I wanted to show them in the road race, the next I just wanted to go home," said the 21-year-old.

"I just had to sort my head out and come into here feeling positive and try to do as good a ride as I could.

"I watched the last little bit when Hayley rode, to see how she did. It was a bit disappointing watching it, knowing that you've wanted to race it and that's what you trained for all season.

"Coming up the climb for the last time I lost my legs, but then Hayley rode me back onto the group and did an amazing ride to get me back.

"That was great and I'm happy with how I rode."

Sportsbeat 2018

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