Commonwealth Games: Sam Webster delighted with golden double at Gold Coast games

  • 08/04/2018

On race days, Sam Webster keeps to himself.   

Sitting on his own, the Kiwi track cyclist flicks through a mental catalogue of races and riders and events, seeking the chink in an opponent's armour.      

So that, when he arrives at the crunch moment of a Commonwealth Games men's sprint gold-medal race, he can foresee victory before it even occurs.    

From there, it's just a case of getting on the bike.            

"I like to be very isolated, I keep to myself all day and don't communicate much," the newly-minted back-to-back Games gold-medallist says.       

"It's a time to really reflect on every ride, think deeply about what's going to happen and then prepare, because when you're under bright lights ... I've been in this skinsuit for 11 hours, you've got to be able to switch on, off, on, off."          

Cerebral and meticulous, the 26-year-old Webster envisaged his Games final win over Jack Carlin on Saturday and then brought it into life.         

Having watched Carlin at recent World Cup meets and in his earlier Games races, Webster knew the Scot could be pipped in the final stages.          

In the first clash of his 2-0 final victory, Webster - starting from the back of the match race - made his move in the final third, roaring ahead to win.

In the second, starting on the front, Webster kept the pace high early, built up a lead and knew Carlin wouldn't have the legs to overtake.             

"Often those riders, you can draw them out and take away the sting in their acceleration, so I knew I had to keep the pace high," Webster said.      

"When I stood, I had a look up the front straight and actually gapped him by about a length - in my head I knew instinctively that was one wheel too big."     

Thanks to Saturday's gold and his men's team sprint triumph with Eddie Dawkins and Ethan Mitchell, Webster has now accrued seven Games medals.

He's just one off Kiwi cycling legend Gary Anderson's haul - but demurred on the idea of returning in Birmingham in 2022.               

"I'm not going to make a call about whether I'll be doing that now but definitely locked in for Tokyo (Olympics) and my passion is running high, my body's feeling good, I've got a great team," Webster said.

NZN