Scratch race gold medal for Shane Archbold

NATHAN BURDON IN GLASGOW
Last updated 08:09 28/07/2014
Shane Archbold
Reuters
CYCLING GOLD: Shane Archbold celebrates winning the 20km scratch race.

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Payback came in the form of a Commonwealth Games gold medal for Shane Archbold this morning.

The New Zealand cyclist helped ride his good friend and room mate Tom Scully to a gold medal in the 40km points race at the Sir Chris Hoy velodrome yesterday and today it was Scully and Dylan Kennett helping to set the Flying Mullet up for the win in the 20km scratch for BikeNZ's fourth gold medal in Glasgow.

''My time was overdue. To be honest this morning in qualifying I was 100 percent truthful at the time and I said I honestly didn't think I had the legs to do it.

"We both rode way too hard yesterday for saving anything - that's what you have to do, it's the Commonwealth Games, one of the biggest days of our lives,'' Archbold said.

''Put me in a winning position and I'm going to do it, when you've got the grit between your teeth, New Zealanders are always going to pull it off.''

That's exactly what happened, with Archbold following Kennett's wheel for the final 25 laps before Scully gave him the perfect leadout to make the win almost seem routine. Scully would go on to finish eighth overall, with Kennett 12th.

''We didn't have a game plan going in, but one of us had to win and when I got the lap up it was pretty much guaranteed that I could do it from there. They put faith in me and I put faith in them and that was it,'' the Timaru rider said.

''I knew Tom could do the finishing deed because me and Tom can read each other like no other two athletes can in the world.

''We know exactly what each other are going to do and that's why last night was a success and this night was even easier than last night. It was just about following and having faith.''

Archbold has won world championship silver in the omnium and gold at World Cup meets, but nothing like the sucess he's been part of over the past two days.

''To finally win something and hear the national anthem, that was just great,'' he said.

New Zealand banked 11 medals over four days at the House of Hoy, eclipsing their previous best of nine medals at both the Delhi and Auckland Commonwealth Games.

Archbold's gold was followed by a silver medal by Sam Webster in the keirin, his third medal of the Games after winning gold in the team sprint and sprint.

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''We wanted the most successful campaign, but each individual wanted their success along the way. I'm pretty sure everyone will be more than happy with what they've done this week,'' Archbold said.

''Obviously even the female programme, they stepped up a lot after having numerous months without racing in their legs. They didn't get any medals but they performed above their expectations as well.''

Scully and Archbold will now back up in the road race in a weeks' time.

''Things don't change in my room. It's always me telling Scud [Scully] to put his washing out and do all those kind of things. Medals aside, nothing changes. For me and Tom it will change in a weeks' time when we can reflect.

"We've still got the road race to do in a weeks' time but I'm sure the other guys will go out and enjoy tonight on our behalf.''

Greg Henderson completed a six hour training ride today and looks a lock to compete in the road race for his fourth Commonwealth Games appearance,  despite a serious crash during the first week of the Tour de France.

- Stuff

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