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Para cyclists Neil Fachie and Craig MacLean earn gold stars for Scotland

SCOTLAND'S Neil Fachie and Craig MacLean made it a golden double as they rode to victory at the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome in Glasgow.The pair added a historic second Commonwealth Games gold in the men's para-sport sprint B tandem to the one they had won on Friday evening in the 1000m time trial B tandem.

Neil Fachie and Craig MacLean enjoy a clap of honour after striking gold Photograph: Colin Mearns
Neil Fachie and Craig MacLean enjoy a clap of honour after striking gold Photograph: Colin Mearns

The Scots again faced Australian duo Kieran Modra and Jason Niblett who took the first race before Fachie and MacLean came storming back in the second. That teed up a nail-biting finale, but there was no way on earth that the Scottish crowd was going to see them lose. Despite the sultry climes of the velodrome, it was a moment that produced goosebumps. The roof almost lifted off as close to 4500 people thundered to their feet in unison, bellowing their support as an electric energy rippled through the arena.

Afterwards the pair would say their overwhelming emotion was relief, but as they crossed the line ahead of the Australian pairing it was a rush of sheer elation. I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles) by The Proclaimers rang out as, accompanied by rapturous cheers, they took their lap of honour, a Saltire fluttering in their wake. Aberdeen-born Fachie, 30, who is visually impaired, and his sighted pilot MacLean, 42, from Grantown-on-Spey, then ditched their tandem to celebrate with family and friends in the stands.

Earlier in the day, Paralympic and six-time world champion Fachie had tweeted: "[The] odds are against us, but isn't that what being Scottish is all about?" It's a canny remark that some budding entrepreneur should surely rustle up into a brilliant slogan T-shirt.

"The morning session was such a struggle for us, we were just so fatigued from Friday," said Fachie. "Qualifying didn't go that well and I felt absolutely awful after it. We got through the semi-finals, but it was a real effort. The Aussies were flying, they killed us in qualifying.

"They are such a talented team and I knew it was going to be a real struggle for us. The first ride proved that and I have no idea where we found what we did at the end. I think it just comes down to the crowd - without them I doubt we'd have done it."

But from thinking they "didn't have a chance in the world" of winning, they embraced what MacLean later described as "a war of attrition".

"It's probably slightly more satisfying [than the first gold] because we were on the back foot after that first leg in the final," he said. "Neil and I both thought that it was it, really. We didn't think we were going to come back from that."

Katie Archibald was the highest-placed Scot in the women's 10km scratch race in fifth with Eileen Roe eighth and Charline Joiner finishing in 17th. At the top of the standings Annette Edmondson and Amy Cure made it a 1-2 for Australia with Elinor Barker of Wales finishing third.

Archibald, 20, had looked strong in the closing laps before being swallowed up in the sprint to the line. She will now turn her focus to the women's 25km points race later today. "In the points race I feel it's always the strongest rider who comes out on top," she said. "It will be a good race."

Since women's cycling made its Commonwealth Games debut in Auckland, New Zealand, in 1990, Scotland has never had a female gold medallist on either the track, road or mountain bike trails. Archibald has three remaining opportunities to change that with one more on the track and two in the road events which get under way with the time trial on Thursday.

Thomas Scully of New Zealand won the men's 40km points race with the Isle of Man's Peter Kennaugh second and Scully's compatriot Aaron Gate third.

There were three Scottish men in that race with Evan Oliphant and Mark Stewart finishing 10th and 11th respectively, while Alistair Rutherford retired before the finish. The lone Scot in the men's 1000m time trial was Bruce Croall who placed eighth. That event saw Scott Sunderland of Australia take gold with a New Zealand 2-3 from Simon van Velthooven and Matthew Archibald.

The most tenacious rider of the day award, however, would go to Scotland's Jenny Davis, who progressed to the quarter-finals of the women's sprint where she faced double Olympic champion and five-time Commonwealth Games gold medallist Anna Meares.

Davis, who took team sprint silver in 2010, looked far from intimidated by her tussle with a global cycling legend and there was some serious eye-balling going on from behind mirrored visors. Meares took the win in two races but Davis has every right to be proud. To top it off, she suffered a nasty crash in the subsequent final for the minor places, but showed true grit to get back on her bike and complete the race and finishing eighth.

Standing there afterwards in her shredded skinsuit, Davis, 31, picked a three-inch wooden splinter out of her leg. "I just wanted to get back on," she said. "One of the volunteers was saying: 'We'll take you to First Aid' but I was like 'No, I'm going back up. The cheer made it all worthwhile. I got back up for the crowd, for my family and friends who have been cheering me and the people across Scotland who have been supporting the team so well."

The women's sprint will see a gold medal race between Australian pair Meares and Stephanie Morton played out this afternoon, with Fatehah Mustapa of Malaysia and Jess Varnish from England riding for bronze.

Today marks the final day of action on the track with Scottish silver medallists Aileen McGlynn and Louise Haston set to contest the women's para-sport 1000m time trial B tandem alongside Laura Cluxton and Fiona Duncan. Callum Skinner is expected to be the Scottish favourite in the keirin.

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