No road race miracle for Pete in biblical conditions

Peter Kennaugh finished eighth in Sunday afternoon's rain-soaked Commonwealth Games road race having led for 110km of 168km race

Peter Kennaugh finished eighth in Sunday afternoon's rain-soaked Commonwealth Games road race having led for 110km of 168km race

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Peter Kennaugh led the men’s 168-kilometre (120-mile) road race for eight of the 12 laps, but his brave bid for a solo victory failed in the closing third.

He later admitted that it hadn’t been the team plan to go off the front so early, but said: ‘I went on the outside, not much quicker than the peloton, but no-one else reacted. I expected a few guys to come with me, but it didn’t happen.

‘I’m not particularly disappointed to lose out at the end. I came to the Commonwealth Games to enjoy myself and I still would have been happy if I was 20th or 30th.’

Kennaugh had a half-minute lead by the end of the first lap. That grew to 1min 49sec by one-third distance, but then came the rain. It didn’t simply rain, it bucketed down.

By this time Joe Kelly, Andrew Roche and Elliot Baxter had all gone. Mark Christian and Jake Kelly were the last to remain of the Manx support team and the latter, the youngest member of the men’s cycling team at 19, was the last survivor.

The conditions and the distance ultimately began to tell and Kennaugh’s lead disappeared as the Australians and New Zealanders drilled the front of the bunch.

He was reeled in and caught on lap nine of the undulating 14km circuit.

He was caught and passed by Kiwi Jack Bauer, Welshman Geraint Thomas and Yorkshireman Scott Thwaites on lap nine and soon slipped to eighth place his ultimate finishing position.

Thomas survived a late puncture to win the race by a margin of 1m 21s from Bauer and Thwaites.

It was such a brutal event that only 12 of the original 139 starters completed the full distance.

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