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Monday, 29 July, 2002, 14:08 GMT 15:08 UK

Birthday gold for Green

By Saj Chowdhury
BBC Sport Online in Manchester

Roland Green clinched the men's cross country title to give Canada another gold at the Commonwealth Games.

Green, who was competing on his 28th birthday, was neck-and-neck with compatriot Seamus McGrath for most of the way before making a decisive break on the sixth and final circuit.

"Every race I've had on my birthday I've ended up winning"
Roland Green speaks to BBC Sport Online

England's Liam Kileen, the country's under-23 champion, surprised many by taking the bronze.

Green looked far from a potential champion after falling back to 11th following the mass start.

Wales' Jamie Norfolk blasted out from the start to take an early lead in the six lap race, covering 39km.

But Norfolk was soon passed by New Zealand's Kashi Luchs who led away a pack of six.

That pack was soon whittled down to three as Luchs fell away, giving Green, McGrath and Kileen the chance to pull away.

But midway through the second circuit the leading group were down to two.

Much of the race from then on resembled a team time trial, but by the final circuit Green stepped up a gear to pull away from McGrath just after the start finish line.

The mass of people who had gathered at Rivington knew that they were watching a class competitor.

Green crossed the finish line 46 seconds ahead of his compatriot, with Kileen coming in to wild cheers a further two minutes and 46 seconds back.

"Every race I've had on my birthday I've ended up winning. It must be the extra power. I felt great today," Green told BBC Sport Online.

"I think tonight I'll definitely have to do something."

"It was the first ever Commonwealth mountain biking event for men and for me and Seamus to get a one-two was pretty special."

After the race, Wales' Ian Jeremiah was fined 30 for "inappropriate behaviour" by the commissaire.

Jeremiah refused to follow the commissaire's instruction to get off the course after being lapped on the final circuit of the 39km course.

The Welshman lost significant time when he suffered a puncture.


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