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Armitstead wins first gold as Pooley ends on a high

ESPN staff
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Lizzie Armitstead finished ahead of England team-mate Emma Pooley © Getty Images
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Lizzie Armitstead is a Commonwealth champion after she clinched the gold medal in the women's road race in Glasgow, meaning England will top the medals table for the first time in 28 years.

It marks her first gold medal after she won silvers at Delhi 2010 and the London Olympics in 2012. Armitstead was aided in the closing stages of the 98km race by England team-mate Emma Pooley who, competing in her final bike race as a professional, retired on a high with the silver medal.

"Special, surreal this is something I have always dreamed about, it means so much to me. I am always a runner up," Armitstead told BBC Sport.

"I am really happy. That was the best cycling teamwork I have ever been a part of. It's such a shame Emma is retiring today, it was a fantastic job from her and all the girls, I am really proud of them."

Pooley was in tears as she crossed the line, ahead of South African bronze medal winner Ashleigh Pasio.

Pooley told the BBC: "That was unexpected. We were working for Liz and I wanted to do everything for her. When she came past me [with 7km to go] and I was still clear I thought I might as well keep going. It's been a long nine years, it was nice to finish on a high.

"I'm getting all pathetic in my old age, it was really, really lovely. I'm really pleased, Liz rode the perfect race but had a perfect team behind her, the young girls coming through are strong. The future is bright and there will be plenty of riders to keep the team going."

Geraint Thomas survived a puncture with six kilometres remaining to win gold in the men's road race.

Thomas had a healthy lead on the final lap and had time to change the wheel before storming to the win in wet conditions in Glasgow to add to his bronze medal in the time trial earlier in the Commonwealth Games.

"I never expected it," Thomas told the BBC. "Coming off the Tour de France, I was tired at end of that. I thought it would be a massive challenge to get a result here but the motivation was there.

"I was buzzing to compete for Team Wales. I just got stuck in and it couldn't have got any better. Carrying the flag tonight [in the closing ceremony] will be a massive honour - that is just as good as winning a race and that means a lot to me and my family."

Chris and Gabby Adcock won the badminton mixed doubles title for England. They defeated compatriots Chris Langridge and Heather Olver 21-9 21-12 to become the first husband and wife partnership to win the mixed doubles crown.

The gold run means England will finish top of the Commonwealth medals table for the first time since Edinburgh in 1986 - the last time the Games were held in Scotland.

England got their revenge on New Zealand by beating them on flick penalties to claim the bronze medal in the men's hockey. The finished level at 3-3 before Ashley Jackson flicked the winning penalty. Australia won gold with a 4-0 defeat of India.

Captain Barry Middleton said: "Four years ago, we lost to New Zealand on flick penalties so it's the other way around now. As an Englishman we're trying to turn the tide on the English losing in penalties. We've started to do it and the girls have started as well. We've got the ability and skill."

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