Having bubbles at the ready did not turn out to be a bad omen for the proud parents of a southerner who won gold in the 40km points race.
Matthew and Wendy Scully sat on their couch in Cromwell gripped with nerves watching their son complete the 160-lap race early yesterday morning.
They were joined by friends, who burst into their bedroom at 4.45am armed with a video camera to capture every minute of Tom winning his first Commonwealth Games gold medal.
"You dream about your boy being there - but until you see it . . . at the start of the race my heart rate was up quite high because I'm bloody nervous that it goes well for him," Matthew said.
The group had a bottle of bubbles at the ready, he said.
"We had croissants and a cup of tea. Then when the race was looking really good, we said we better get that bubbly out. It is considered a bad omen but we just had it sitting there.
"It was pretty emotional really. There is just so much relief for him. It's all about the future and achieving it. He just works so hard you have got no idea about his commitment and dedication that goes into it. He doesn't miss a training and it's all do-it-yourself."
Wendy said Tom rang after winning the race and described his achievement as "pretty sweet", she said. "Then he said he had to go because he was hungry. I said, ‘Oh well, I'm not there to make you a sandwich'."
The nerves would be more settled for his race this morning, she said.
"His sister is in a flat in Christchurch and she's blown away. She got her whole flat up to watch it and was texting me at 3am saying she was so nervous she couldn't sleep. I'll be more relaxed for [this morning's race] and I'll be putting my cellphone on silent."
Scully's ride to the Commonwealth Games points race gold medal looked so well worked that it could have almost been preordained.
The Southland cyclist took three laps on the field and won six of the 16 sprints - including a massive coup de grace in the final lap - to finish comfortably ahead on points from Isle of Man rider Peter Kennaugh and his New Zealand team-mate Aaron Gate.
Together with Shane Archbold, the three riders in black skinsuits took an early stranglehold on the 160 lap race and then refused to relax their grip until it had coughed up the endurance squad's first gold medal in Glasgow.
"It feels pretty bloody good. It was awesome out there, we had three guys that could have won the race tonight and those other two are good mates off the bike, as well as on the bike," Scully said.
"To have them racing along beside me is pretty special because we just know what each other is going to do, know how each other is going to react. I think it showed out there tonight and the support I had from them was awesome."
The gold medal continues a miraculous comeback for Scully, a teenage prodigy on the boards before suffering what was initially feared could be a career-ending leg injury during a race crash in Ireland three years ago.
Since then Scully's cycling career has focused largely on the road, but encouraged by those close to him in the sport he decided to have another whack on the track.
That decision to hit the boards again saw him ride to a silver medal in the points race at the world championships in Cali in February.
"I had some good friends down home in Invercargill talk me into it again this summer, just to give it a crack off the back of the Southland tour.
I had some good form and buildup for the World Cup season, got a few opportunities and rode the worlds this year and I'm pretty thankful for my team in the UK, Madison Genesis, for releasing me to come and race the Commonwealth Games. Not all the road teams in Europe would understand what the Commonwealth Games are. I can't thank them enough for the support and I'll be back to them in 10 days' time."
Scully was to be back in action early this morning (NZ time) for qualifying in the 20km scratch race with Archbold and Dylan Kennett, an event New Zealand will have hopes of winning another medal in.
In other track action, Simon van Velthooven and Southlander Matt Archibald won silver and bronze respectively in the final of the 1000m time trial.
- The Southland Times
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