GUTTED was the overriding sentiment that came to mind for Tom Moses after the Commonwealth Games men’s road race.
The 22-year-old Keighley rider was well placed when he punctured, becoming one of the 128 riders of the 140 that failed to finish in Glasgow on Sunday.
Moses said: “It was disappointing to put so much effort in and not finish.
“There were only two laps to go, so the race was pretty much finished, and I was with a group of three battling for fourth place.
“I was the last rider not to finish but that is how it goes sometimes.”
In the immediate aftermath of his withdrawal, Moses tweeted: “Never been so gutted in my life. Hoping Scott (Thwaites) can pull a ride out now to make up for it.”
And the Burley-in-Wharfedale rider, who was born in Steeton, obliged with a bronze medal for England behind Geraint Thomas (Wales), who punctured with six kilometres remaining when apparently coasting to victory, and New Zealander Jack Bauer.
Conditions were expected to be tough over the 14.2km circuit, which consisted of cobbles, sharp corners and undulating climbs, but the weather added to that with a heavy downpour during the 12-lap contest.
“I have never ridden in a race where the rain was so consistent from start to finish,” admitted Moses.
“Mind you, if it had dried up a bit, it could have been even worse as it would then have been half wet and half dry.
“But I was glad for Scott that he finished third and the crowds were good considering the weather.
“However, we didn’t really get the chance to soak up the atmosphere in the Village as a lot of people had already gone by the time we arrived last Friday night.”
Moses has not got too much time to reflect on his good form and misfortune at the Commonwealth Games, however.
On Sunday, he competes in the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic on what is a variation of the London 2012 Olympic course and is an Olympic legacy event.
Then on Monday he flies out to the United States to compete in the Pro Cycling Challenge – a seven-day elite stage race in Colorado from August 18-24 – before returning for the Friends Life Tour of Britain from September 7-14.
Another possible target for him is the World Road Championships in Ponferrada, Spain from September 21-28.
If the puncture was heart-wrenching for Moses, it was also nerve-shredding for Thomas, whose lead was whittled down from 50 seconds to 20 seconds as he waited for a replacement bike, with Bauer and Thwaites closing all the time.
However, Thomas remounted to win by a minute from Bauer and former Ermysted’s Grammar School pupil Thwaites.
The Burley rider said: “I was happy I was guaranteed a podium, as long as I stayed upright. It’s a shame I ended up with bronze but I’m happy with that. Geraint was so strong. He was unbelievable.”
The race will also be remembered for a brave (or foolish) effort from Isle of Man rider Peter Kennaugh. He broke away three kilometres into the 168km race and stayed in front for 116km as the elements threw everything at him.
After Kennaugh’s suicidal move, he was caught by Thomas, Bauer and Thwaites, who dropped their opponent and contested the medals.