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Hughes takes women's cycling time trial title

27 July 2002

Canada picks up the first cycling gold of the Games.

Clara Hughes

Clara Hughes takes gold on the undulating Rivington course

Canada won two medals in the women’s time trial final at Rivington Pike on Saturday with Clara Hughes winning gold and Lyne Bessette taking bronze.

Pre-event favourite and number one seed, Australia’s Anna Millward, won silver in a class field of 20 riders.

Hughes already has two Olympic cycling bronze medals from the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games. She also won a bronze medal in speed skating at the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics earlier this year, making her one of only four athletes in history to have won medals at Summer and Winter Games.

Hughes’ time over the 23.4km course (two laps of 11.7km) was 34 minutes 51.66 seconds, nine seconds faster than Millward (35:00.77). Bessette completed the distance in 35:10.42.

Hughes, the number six seed, set off quickly with the fastest intermediate time, covering the first 12 km in 17:29.52.

She maintained that pace on the second lap and crossed the line to huge applause from spectators as she set the fastest provisional time of the 15 riders that had finished.

Bessette, second to last off, was second quickest at the same 12km stage but lost a potential silver medal on the second lap as Millward, the final rider, increased her speed on her second flying lap.

When Millward finally crossed the line opposite Rivington and Blackrod High School, Hughes was confirmed as the Commonwealth champion.

After the medal ceremony Hughes said: “The time trial is always a great race for me, but my coach told me that if I can do well in the pursuit then I can do well in the time trial.”

“My strategy was to go as well as I could but if anything I went too fast on my first lap.”

"Whoever designed the course did a really awesome job.”

England's Frances Newstead was placed eighth. She said: “I had a reasonably controlled ride. On a rolling course like this you have to pace yourself. I’m not sure if I got all my power out.”

"This is my biggest ever event and I’ve never experienced anything like this before. I can’t believe it’s Manchester, it feels like a foreign country.”

Full results can be viewed here

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