After four nights of racing at the velodrome, Australia has topped the medal tally by claiming seven of the 12 gold medals on offer.
English cyclist Paul Manning races to victory at the velodrome.
Competing at Melbourne's Multi Purpose Venue (MPV) to a full house every night, riders raced for Commonwealth glory in front of passionate and vocal crowds. The Australian riders used the home town support to their advantage, often claiming the crowd helped them to perform to their best.
Highlights of the program included a new Games record set by Australia's Anna Meares in the Women's 500m Time Trial. Meares' time of 34.326 seconds was set in the Final, and bettered her sister's record from four years ago. England's Victoria Pendleton broke the Women's sprint record in Qualifying. The new record of 11.275 seconds was broken, after having stood for eight years.
The third record of the program was set by Australian Katie Mactier in Qualifying for the Women's Individual Pursuit event. Her time of 3:30.290 minutes broke the previous record by two seconds.
After claiming two of the three top honours on Day 1 in the Women's 500m Time Trial, Anna Meares, and the Men's 1000m Time Trial, Ben Kersten, the host nation claimed all three gold medals on offer for Day 2 of the Track Cycling - Katherin Bates in the Women's Points Race, Ryan Bayley in the Men's Keirin and Sean Finning in the Men's Points Race.
The Women’s Sprint Final was easily the highlight of Day 3 with the gold medal race between Victoria Pendleton of England and Australia’s Anna Meares decided by a quarter of a wheel. The only match race that went to a decider was taken out by the English speedster by the narrowest of margins.
"I'm really, really happy, this was my main event. Because it's an Olympic event, that's my main focus. The sprint is a gamble, always very close, so I feel great about the win," said Pendleton of her record breaking form.
Australia's Ryan Bayley easily accounted for his Scottish rival, Ross Edgar, in the gold medal final of the Men's Sprint, defeating him in two races and giving Australia its only gold medal for that day. Canadian Travis Smith took bronze from Englishman Matthew Crampton.
The Men’s Team Pursuit Qualifying rounds saw England dominate as expected and secure itself a place in the gold medal final. They went on to defeat Australia, with New Zealand edging out Malaysia for the bronze.
Day four saw another classic night of Track Cycling with three gold medal races decided at the velodrome on the last night of competition. An enthusiastic full house, which also included Australian Prime Minister John Howard, saw Australia’s Katie Mactier take gold in the Women’s Individual Pursuit, while Scotland claimed its only Track Cycling gold medal of the Games in the Men’s Team Sprint, in arguably the best race final all meet.
In the Men's Team Sprint, Scotland beat England in a memorable race for gold as Chris Hoy, anchoring the Scottish team, held off a last lap charge from England to win in 44.282 seconds. England, who finished in 44.309, claimed its second consecutive Commonwealth Games silver in this event, after finishing behind Australia in Manchester. The Scotland team consisted of Hoy, Ross Edgar and Craig Maclean. England was represented by 19-year-old Matthew Crampton, Olympic champion Jason Queally and Jamie Staff.
In a replay of their qualifying race, Australia beat New Zealand for bronze.
In the Women's Individual Pursuit, Athens silver medallist and reigning world champion Mactier (3:35.196 seconds) defeated fellow Australian Katherin Bates (3:37.089) to win her first Commonwealth Games gold medal. Mactier entered the race as favourite after setting a new Games record of 3:30.290 during her Qualifying Heat. The bronze medal went to Emma Jones of England after she overpowered Alison Shanks of New Zealand.
The final medal event of the competition was the Men’s 20km Scratch Race, won by Mark Cavendish from the Isle of Man in a time of 23:05.540. Cavendish won the Isle of Man’s first Commonwealth Games gold medal since 1966.
"At the end of the day it's bike racing and as long as I’m doing it I’m happy. It’s 40 years since we last won a gold this is my event. It’s a great way to end the meet. This was always going to be my race,” said Cavendish of his gold medal winning performance.
Australian Ashley Hutchinson took the silver medal and James McCallum of Scotland the bronze.
For all the results, visit the Schedules and Results section on this Website.