Mechanical issues hamper ‘gutted’ Culverwell

SAM CULVERWELL settled for 21st place overall as the leader of Guernsey’s time-trial trio on the roads of Birmingham.

Sam Culverwell gets his time trial under way. (Picture by Graham Chester, 31114341)
Sam Culverwell gets his time trial under way. (Picture by Graham Chester, 31114341)

Seb Tremlett enjoyed a trouble-free ride for 23rd, but like Marc Cox in 31st, mechanical issues left young Culverwell unable to realise his best result on a very technical course based at West Park.

The 37km course came as a real challenge in itself – tight, often blind, corners caught out even some of the very best riders, while various ups and downs along the way further raised the difficulty level.

Australia’s Rohan Dennis topped the 54-rider field in 46min. 21sec., followed by England’s Fred Wright, while Welsh legend Geraint Thomas took bronze after an early crash into a barrier proved too much to overcome.

Culverwell finished 6-15 off the leader after dropping his chain no fewer than three times.

‘Really gutted – had a bit of a shocker,’ he said.

The Trinity Racing professional had, at least, been going well until checkpoint one at 8.9km.

‘That’s where the problems started and then you’ve always got that in the back of your head, so mentally, it’s hard to carry on and get the most out of yourself,’ he added.

‘Just gave it all I had and did my best, and all eyes on the road race now [on Sunday morning], which is my preferred event anyway.’

Time-trial specialist Tremlett came closer to realising his potential, finishing in 52-58, despite admitting to being much more conservative around the corners than the top guys.

‘Nothing went too wrong, I guess,’ he said.

‘It’s a cliche but I just really enjoyed the experience. As soon as I got out there, the crowds, it was just so wholesome in a way.

‘My numbers were okay but literally every hill you can get that little bit more out of yourself because the crowds, they have no idea who you are but you still hear “Come on Guernsey” and when you go through some of those corners in the really built-up areas, the crowds are so packed. It’s so loud, it’s so motivating.’

Cox clocked 55-02 after not only dropping his chain on a fast descent but suffering a rear puncture late into his ride, forcing a bike swap.

The Commonwealths debutant called it a ‘bittersweet day’ but hailed the ‘incredible’ crowd support.

‘Every little climb, every little corner, there was packs of people, and every other person you could hear shouting “Guernsey”.

‘It was awesome. Amazing atmosphere, shame it didn’t go my way but hey, got to reflect and look at it as a real good experience and leave it at that.’

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