Video: Mark Downey so close to Games road race medal

Posted on: April 14th, 2018

Steele von Hoff wins Commonwealth Games road race

Mark Downey, with head down just behind and to the right of winner Steele Von Hoff. The Northern Ireland rider was beaten by a whisker for the bronze.


Steele von Hoff wins Commonwealth Games road race


Mark Downey has finished 4th in the road race at the Commonwealth Games in Australia. The Northern Ireland rider was part of a select group that sprinted it out for victory.

The race was dominated by the Australians and Kiwis, who combined to reel in the breakaway and make the catch on the final lap.

That set things up for a sprint from a small group, with Steele Van Hoff winning the gallop for the gold medal.

He beat Jon Mould of Wales into the silver medal position. And taking the bronze medal was Clinton Hendricks.

The South African just about got the verdict over Downey on the line. The Northern Irish rider was disappointed with his ride in the scratch race on the track earlier in the Gold Coast Games.

And in the points race he was taken clean out by a crash. It meant he went into the road race smarting and determined to do well.

He said afterwards that when he came over the line he was bitterly disappointed to be so close to a medal and miss it.

However, as he reflected he said he felt very happy to have been in the race and showing the Northern Ireland jersey.

“I’ll be back in four years time for my medal,” said Downey, a very few people would doubt him.

A breakaway featuring Thomas Stewart (England), James McLaughlin (Guernsey) and Joseph Areruya (Rwanda) went clear. They spent a lot of the race up the road being chased by a six-man group.

But back in the main field, which got smaller every lap on the climbs, the Australians and New Zealand team went to the front and brought them back.

Shane Archbold – a Kiwi who rides for Irish team Aqua Blue Sport – started the sprint from a long way out into the headwind, with Downey proving fourth fastest.

The race was nine laps of an 18.7km course with two climbs each lap. We’ll have more later.