Dennis wins in drama-filled time trial

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Rohan Dennis and Geraint Thomas have pointed to the lack of a proper pre-event reconnaissance after crashes marred the men's Commonwealth Games road time trial.

Dennis stayed out of trouble on Thursday at Wolverhampton to win his first Commonwealth or Olympic Games time trial.

The expectation was that gold would come down to a head-to-head duel between Dennis and his friend Thomas, the 2018 Tour de France champion.

But the Welsh great crashed only two minutes into his ride on a corner and lost at least a minute.

Dennis rode 46 minutes 21.24 seconds over the technical 37.4km course, with England's rising star Fred Wright 26.28 seconds slower for silver. Thomas was another two seconds back for the bronze medal.

English rider Dan Bigham's bike became wedged in a barrier after he also went down on a corner.

"We've had more technical courses, the fact is we didn't have a proper recon of that course and be able to check the corners at a reasonable pace," Dennis said.

Thomas said he only had himself to blame, but also noted they had their recon in traffic and were unable to test the corners at race speed.

"It was pretty pointless, really, other than knowing where the uphills and downhills are," he said.

"It's my fault, at the end of the day ... it's never straightforward, is it?.

"It's just not as organised as what we're used to."

Dennis has had his own history of misfortune in major time trials, with a snapped handlebar part robbing him of a medal at the Rio Olympics.

"I have somehow escaped any issues since 2017 - I'd like to keep it that way," he said.

Thomas also has had plenty of bad luck and misfortune.

"I have good practice at trying to re-focus, these days, with something going wrong," he said.

"I take it on the chin, it's my fault, really.

"After the recon I thought 'oh yeah, every corner is pretty-much full on, you really don't have to break so much. I was wrong with that."

Thomas was asked how insufferable Dennis would be after winning gold.

"I've got a nice excuse to throw back at him now, haven't I? He's lucky," Thomas deadpanned.

Australian Luke Plapp finished fifth after he also had to change his bike, but for a mechanical problem rather than a crash.

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