David McCann made an audacious bid for a Commonwealth Games gold medal yesterday in the 168km road race around some of the iconic sites of the Indian capital including the Presidential Palace, Parliament House, Connaught Place and India Gate.
The 37 year-old from Dunmurry, who won bronze last Thursday as part of the track pursuit team, was part of an opening attack of five riders.
That was soon whittled down to just two — McCann and New Zealander Gordon McCauley who formed the day’s main breakaway in the second lap.
In temperatures that soared to 42 degrees they widened the gap to three minutes but as the pace at the front of the peloton quickened so the gap closed.
An elite group formed with two laps to go, one that still included McCann, Scot David Millar and Tour de France hero Mark Cavendish, riding for his native Isle of Man. Attacks began in earnest to try to drop the sprinters and that succeeded with Aussie Allan Davis winning the sprint to the line.
McCann didn’t quite have the legs and finished eleven seconds adrift in fifth place.
“I felt good so I went with it and I didn't expect to go right to the end of the race,” said McCann afterwards. He now has until Wednesday to recover for the time trial in which he finished fifth four years ago.
“I'm a bit concerned about the time trial. Two days will have to do but three would have been nice.” Adam Armstrong was 15th, Philip Lavery 24th and Sean Downey 39th. Martyn Irvine failed to finish. Heather Wilson finished 19th in the 112km women’s road race finishing in a time of 2:49:38 just eight seconds behind the winner after a bunch sprint.