Australia had another great day at the Sir Chris Hoy velodrome, collecting another five medals to add to the previous two days haul of ten, putting them top of the cycling table with six more than any other country.
For the second day in a row, the Men’s Para Tandem provided one of the most memorable moments.
This time it was the Sprint competition and again it was the Scottish pair of Neil Fachie and Craig MacLean, winning the final two-matches-to-one and celebrating with their families whilst the crowd joined in singing to them, who brought the proceedings to a halt.
There was controversy in the Men’s Points race as riders showed the event is in fact a contact-sport, colluded and were disqualified.
There were some spills too; Scottish sprinter Jenny Davis showed real guts, crashing then minutes later remounting and contesting the minor final as if nothing had happened.
Men’s Para-Sport Sprint B2 Tandem
Neil Fachie piloted by Craig MacLean (Scotland) took their second gold medal in two days by winning the Para Sport Tandem Sprint in a thrilling three-race final against Kieran Modra and Jason Niblett (Australia)
The Aussies surprised the Scots in the first ride by accelerating early and forcing a lengthy chase, the Scottish pair having to go the long way round and running out of track before the line.
Modra and Niblett tried the same tactic in ride two but MacLean was ready for it and leapt onto their rear wheel, following it with only a few inches to spare – not easy on a tandem, let alone on a track and at race speed.
With a couple of laps to go the Scots pushed on and over the Australians, showing their superior power and making it one-all, meaning the third ride was necessary to decide the winner.
Ride three saw a similar race, the Scots taking the sprint to a huge roar from the crowd who were on their feet urging the two teams on.
Fachie and MacLean took a few laps to wave the Saltire flag, soak up the applause and shared the celebrations with their families up in the stands while the crowds joined in an impromptu rendition of the Proclaimers hit song ‘500 miles’.
Podium presentation for the Tandem medals and the photographers compete for the athlete’s attention. “Over here guys!”, “Neil – look at me!”, “Hey lads, to us!”, and all of that.
The guy next to me shouts “Kiss the medals!” and Craig looks at him, smiles and shakes his head, ‘no, not gonna do that…‘. “Well, give us a roar then!”, so he did.
I knew it would appear in a newspaper somewhere.