Fast start costs Jesse Sergent shot at a medal

MARK GEENTY IN GLASGOW
Last updated 03:56 01/08/2014
Jesse Sergent
ROBERT KITCHIN/Fairfax NZ

OUTSIDE THE MEDALS: Jesse Sergent powers around the men's time trial course in Glasgow, eventually finishing fifth after being first through the first time-check.

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Jesse Sergent charged out of the blocks and paid the price in a hot Commonwealth Games men's time trial field.

The New Zealand Pro Tour cyclist was seen as a serious medal chance on his recent form in Europe, but faded to finish fifth in the 38.4km ride around the city streets, won by England's Alex Dowsett. It was four places better than Sergent's finish in Delhi four years ago, but there was disappointment in the Spain-based Manawatu man's voice.

"I felt like I overall had a pretty good ride. Maybe I got carried away a bit at the start which was something I've been working on," Sergent said.

"You still make mistakes and I probably went out to the first time check a bit quick and paid for it for the rest of the ride. Overall, power wise all the numbers were good but it wasn't quite fast enough."

Dowsett, silver medallist in Delhi, won gold in a time of 47min 41.78sec, with 9sec to spare over Australia's Ryan Dennis and 14sec over Wales' Geraint Thomas, fresh from the Tour de France.

Sergent was second behind Dowsett at the first 6.4km split, then slipped to fourth which he held for the most part until another rider coming off the Tour, Canada's Svein Tuft, pipped him for fourth by 0.49sec. Sergent's time was 48:33.73, around 52sec adrift of the flying Englishman.

Scotland's David Millar, a time trial giant defending his title from Delhi, was last off but could only manage eighth, while Delhi bronze medallist Luke Durbridge of Australia faded to ninth.

"There were probably 15 Pro Tour riders and guys that win time trials on the Pro Tour circuit," Sergent said.

"It was a really classy field but I kept open-minded and concentrated on getting the best out of myself. Everyone wants to win or get a medal at events like this and that was something I had in my head. It didn't quite work out."

Sergent, 26, won dual medals on the track in Delhi, with silver in the individual and team pursuits. He switched focus to the road after London two years ago.

The time trial was Sergent's main goal in Glasgow and he did a two-week training block with his coach Mike McRedmond in Girona to prepare, having been released by his Trek Factory Team for the Games.

"It's not like I came here off nothing. Whether or not two weeks was enough or I needed some more racing beforehand... there's still the worlds in September to have another test."

There's still one more medal crack for Sergent who will switch focus to Sunday night's (NZ time) road race. He'll join a six-strong New Zealand team headed by Jack Bauer and Greg Henderson, the latter lining up after surgery to repair a split knee early on the Tour de France.

"For my own results the focus was on the time trial but in a road race anything can happen. We have a really strong medal hope in Jack Bauer and I'm more than happy to ride for someone like him, with the condition that he's in after the Tour de France.

"We may not be the biggest team there or the favourites, but New Zealanders are used to having to fight for things like that."

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