Silver lining for Williams in women’s roa a
GEORGIA Williams surprised herself with her silver-medal sprint in the Commonwealth Games road race.
The 24-year-old national road race champion claimed second in a sprint finish on the Gold Coast yesterday, unable to match the speed of Australia’s Chloe Hosking to the finish line.
Williams said sprint finishes was not her strength, so she was surprised she was able to stick with Hosking till the end.
‘‘I’m not normally a sprinter and, with 2km to go, I just wanted to hold my position. But at the end, with everyone cheering, I just knew I had to go for it and put everything I had left into it.
Adding to her surprise was the sense of unknown entering the race after struggling with illness in the weeks beforehand.
‘‘I’ve actually been quite sick the last three weeks. I had bronchitis three weeks ago and I’ve been struggling to recover from that. Then also having the pressure of needing to train. So I’m even more surprised with how I felt today.’’
Williams’ team-mate, Sharlotte Lucas, just missed bronze, finishing a length behind Wales’ Danielle Rowe. Linda Villumsen was the next best Kiwi in 12th.
The 112.2km race was controlled throughout by the strong Australian team.
Coming into the last of the six laps, New Zealand still had five riders in the leading bunch of 30, with only Bryony Botha dropped.
The Australians put the hammer down on the front and had reduced the leading group to 12 with 10km to go.
Williams twice attacked in the final 9km, but all her moves were covered by the Australians.
One of those moves split the leading bunch, leaving Williams on her own against four Australians and two Welsh riders for a time, but Villumsen and Lucas managed to get themselves