Canada's Tara Alice Whitten bagged the first medal gold for her country in the cycling event on Wednesay that took place on the Greater Noida Expressway, on the outskirts of Delhi.
This was Canada's first gold in both track as well as the road event, who had previously won three bronze medals in track events. Linda Villumsen of New Zealand won the silver medal, while England's Julia Shaw snatched the bronze. With the mercury touching almost 44 degree Celsius, 28 cyclists had to brave the scorching sun to compete in the 29 kilometer individual time trial race.
Whitten completed the race in 38 minutes, 59.30 seconds to beat her main rival Villumsen, who was almost five seconds behind her. After the completion of the event, the Canadian said she liked hearing the national anthem. "It is certainly nice to hear the national anthem."
Meanwhile, India's Sunita Devi and Pana Choudhary managed to finish in the top 20, bagging the 17th and 20th positions respectively. However, another Indian Helen Devi claimed the 21th spot in the last day of the cycling event.
Scorching heat made the race more difficult with the athletes struggling to complete the 29 km stretch. One of the Australian cyclist even complained of dizziness and black spots in front of the eyes.
Gold medallist Whitten too admitted that heat was indeed a challenge to overcome. "Heat was a challenge. And the course is flat, so you just had to stay focussed and maintain your confidence," said the 30-year-old cyclist. "But even a couple of days back it was very hot so I knew that it was going to be at least that much. Yet, I would say that it was really hot out there," she added.
The 2010 World Champion gold medallist (point race) was glad to beat her Kiwi counterpart Linda Villumsen as she knew she was very strong in road race. "She (Villumsen) has won bronze medal two years ago at world championships. So I knew she would be one of the strong riders out there," the cyclist said when asked how she felt after defeating Villumsen. After a tough day at work, the Canadian champion has no immediate plans and just feels the need for a good rest. She said, "Immediate plans? Good rest. Then I will start training for the track season which starts in December."