WELSH cycling star Geraint Thomas showed all his strength and resilience to win bronze in the Glasgow 2014 time trial just four days after completing the Tour de France.
The 28-year-old Olympic track champion, who also won bronze in the points race at the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne in 2006, finished 22nd in the Tour on Sunday.
And ahead of the time trial he played down his chances of winning a medal, suggesting that Sunday’s road race would be his better chance.
But Cardiff ace Thomas finished third, 14 seconds behind England’s gold medallist Alex Dowsett to win a 33rd medal for Team Wales in Glasgow.
Thomas’ Welsh team-mate Scott Davies was 16th and Luke Rowe 17th.
“I am happy,” said Thomas afterwards. “I did not know what to expect coming here.
“I felt strong out there although I did not feel zippy or fresh.
“I was in my own little world because my radio was not working, which was a bit of a shame because I did not know how close I was.
“But when you see 14 seconds that makes things a bit better.
“If I had lost by four seconds I wouldn’t have been happy.
“But I enjoyed it. There were plenty of people out and a good atmosphere.”
Thomas admitted he had to fight through the pain barrier to reach the podium after the gruelling Tour schedule.
“It was the same old things of the last month,” he said. “I was hurting!
“I did a bit on the rollers every day to get a decent sweat.
“I have tried to keep it to the minimum to be fresh but also do a little something to keep the engine ticking over.
“I have been looking forward to the whole Commonwealth week and riding for Wales,” he added.
“The last time I did that was in Melbourne and that was eight years ago.
“It’s nice to be in a new but familiar set-up with Darren Tudor who was my coach as a junior.
“It is totally different to Sky and refreshing to be in a new environment.
“A change is as good as a rest.
“I am a bit sick of hotels and I’m looking forward to sleeping in my own bed.”
There is just one more race left for Thomas before he can return to his bed – Sunday’s road race.
“We have got a strong team for the road race,” said the 2008 and 2012 team pursuit Olympic champion.
“Myself and Luke will be joint leaders but it’s one of those where you get stuck into the race and see how it goes.
“There are a lot of tactics come into play with a lot of strong riders.”