Official Website of Brunei Darussalam National Olympic Council
Yafiz refuses to blame rider
Tuesday, August 5, 2014
New Zealand's Jesse Sergent (C) leads the pack during the men's road race at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow on Sunday. AFP

National cycling coach Yafiz Jamaludin felt that Muhammad I'maadi Abd Aziz's inability to finish the 168km men's road race at the Commonwealth Games on Sunday wasn't entirely the cyclist's fault.

Although Yafiz shared that the result was not was he expected to see, he added that it was a very bad race as only 12 of the 138 riders managed to cross the finish line in Glasgow. Yafiz stated that the poor finishing was due to an early crash in the first lap ahead of a large group, causing a jam for the cyclists from the middle of the pack to the back. Brunei's sole representative at the Games went on to see himself through to the third of the 12 laps before being pulled out of the race held at the Glasgow City Road Course.

During the team managers meeting, it was agreed that a rider must withdraw from the race if he is more than 10 minutes behind the leader. "I'maadi was pulled out of the race by the commissar after three laps because he was too far away from the leader," Yafiz told The Brunei Times. "It wasn't only I'maadi who was taken out at the time... So many riders in his group were pulled off because of the crash.

"The course was very technical, and in addition to that it was raining - making it dangerous for the riders... That's why so many riders couldn't finish the race. "It was a nice course but it's not good when it's raining... The rain didn't stop for the whole race which made the course slippery," added Yafiz. Wales' Geraint Thomas won the gruelling race after recovering from a puncture with just under 6km to go, making the Team Sky rider the first Welsh winner of the road race.

A sprint finish saw New Zealand's Jack Bauer claim silver while Scott Thwaites took bronze for England. The race, contested in strong winds and torrential rain, was led for 120km by the Isle of Man's Peter Kennaugh. The 25-year-old held his advantage for eight laps with the rest of the chasing peloton content to leave him out on his own before he was reeled in by Thomas, Bauer and Thwaites with 49km to go.

Kennaugh, who at one stage held nearly a two minute advantage, dropped down the order to eventually finish in eighth. With 12km left, Thomas made his move to open a substantial gap on his opponents. England claimed a one-two in the women's road race as Lizzie Armitstead went one better than New Dehli to claim gold.

It was a historic moment for Armitstead as she won England's 2000th Commonwealth Games medal. Only Australia have won more. The 25-year-old finished the 98.14km course ahead of teammate Emma Pooley who added another silver to the one she won in the time trial. A photo finish saw South Africa's Ashleigh Pasio claim her country's first road race medal as she just edged Australia's Tiffany Cromwell for bronze following a dramatic sprint to the line.

For Armitstead, the win allows her to banish the memories of finishing second in New Dehli and at the London 2012 Olympics. Prior to Sunday's road race, I'maadi also took part in two track events at the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome on August 26-27 - the men's 40km point race and men's 20km scratch race.

I'maadi's best performance at the Games was when he started his campaign in the point race where he missed the 24-man final by one spot after placing 13th during his qualifying heat. The scratch race saw him get knocked out with 20 laps to go after failing to keep up with the other cyclists.

In a previous report in The Brunei Times, Yafiz applauded I'maadi's efforts shown on the velodrome despite the country not having one of its own.

Courtesy from Brunei Times