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Aussie cyclist Matthew Glaetzer wins gold – despite shocking pre-race blunder by his own team

Aussie cyclist who beat cancer wins gold after recovering from sickening crash that left a rival OUT COLD on the track – despite shocking mistake from his own team that cost him a mountain of time

  • Matthew Glaetzer snared gold in 1000m time trial at Commonwealth Games
  • Aussie cyclist was told hours before race his racing handlebars weren’t safe
  • Glaetzer defied the odds to win the event ahead of fellow Aussie Tom Cornish
  • On Monday, Glaetzer was involved in serious crash with local hope Joe Truman

Australian cyclist Matthew Glaetzer has overcome a diabolical equipment blunder to win gold in the men’s 1000m time trial at the Commonwealth Games.

In ridiculous scenes, team officials informed Glaetzer just hours before his race that the handlebars on his bike were not safe to compete with on the international stage.

At the eleventh hour, the 29-year-old was forced to race with inferior handlebars that could cost him as much as 1.5 seconds because they’re not as aerodynamic – but defied the odds to snare gold.

The Commonwealth Games in Birmingham have been dramatic for Glaetzer, who was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in 2019.

He started off by capturing a gold medal in the men’s team spring alongside Leigh Hoffman and Matthew Richardson on the first day of the games, before disaster struck in the second round of the keirin event.

Glaetzer clipped the back wheel of England’s Joe Truman, with the pair both tumbling to the unforgiving velodrome board.

Australian cyclist Matthew Glaetzer has overcome a diabolical equipment blunder to win gold in the men’s 1000m time trial at the Commonwealth Games

Glaetzer, 29, was informed just hours before racing by team officials the handlebars for the time trial final were not safe to compete on the international stage.

Glaetzer, 29, was informed just hours before racing by team officials the handlebars for the time trial final were not safe to compete on the international stage.

Both riders hit the surface at more than 70kmh, with Truman losing consciousness on impact.

Glaetzer managed to limp away, with his thin race suit in tatters – while the local hope was given oxygen before being taken from the arena in a wheelchair.

The Aussie suffered multiple abrasions as well as burns on his right side in the crash, and there were fears he wouldn’t be in a position to defend the event he also won at the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.

When news filtered through Glaetzer would have to race with alternate handlebars in the time trial final, Aussie cycling legend Katey Bates felt the difference would be telling. 

Glaetzer then produced one of the great rides to take gold in the final ride of the event, relegating Aussie teammate Tom Cornish to silver.

A fifth Commonwealth Games gold medal also sees Glaetzer equal with Aussie cycling icon Anna Meares for career gold medals won.

The Commonwealth Games in Birmingham have been dramatic for Glaetzer, who was also diagnosed with thyroid cancer in 2019

The Commonwealth Games in Birmingham have been dramatic for Glaetzer, who was also diagnosed with thyroid cancer in 2019

Matthew Glaetzer of Australia and Joe Truman of England crash during the men's track cycling keirin event

Matthew Glaetzer of Australia and Joe Truman of England crash during the men’s track cycling keirin event

‘I cannot believe my eyes. I cannot believe what I’m seeing here,’ Bates said after Glaetzer’s heroics.

‘That was absolutely staggering. This is becoming the velodrome where records are broken and dreams are made.’

AusCycling executive general manager of performance Jesse Korf defended the controversial handlebar decision, stating the safety of athletes is always the priority.

‘This decision is reflective of a new and thorough approach to long-term engineering excellence, competitive success, and athlete welfare,’ he said in a statement. 

Matthew Glaetzer, (pictured left) Matthew Richardson and Leigh Hoffman after winning gold in the men's team sprint on day one of the Commonwealth Games

Matthew Glaetzer, (pictured left) Matthew Richardson and Leigh Hoffman after winning gold in the men’s team sprint on day one of the Commonwealth Games

Richardson was the first Aussie to hit the track and recorded an impressive 1:00.152.

Cornish then pushed himself into first place with a 1:00.036 before Glaetzer crossed the line in a scintillating 59.505.

On Monday, Glaetzer was denied a bronze medal following marginal contact with his opponent in the men’s sprint race.

Officials spent over an hour reviewing footage, before ruling Glaetzer has interfered the run of Scotland’s Jack Carlin, who was then awarded third place.

Many cycling experts were stunned at the outcome, with Bates labelling it an ‘absolute travesty.’

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Read more at DailyMail.co.uk