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Smith not riding for high praise

Smith not riding for high praise

He may have been the Cayman Islands flag bearer but Michele Smith is very much low-key in Glasgow.

Smith, 44, was the last athlete in Cayman’s 26-member Commonwealth Games squad to compete in Scotland. His Games started on Thursday with the individual 40km time trial event and it wraps up on Aug. 3 with the Men's Road Race at 12:01 p.m. Scotland time (6 a.m. Cayman time).

Glasgow Cycling Photos

With ample amounts of time to train and get acquainted with his surroundings, Smith has modest expectations heading into Sunday’s finale.

“I feel comfortable going into the race,” Smith said. “My goal in the road race is basically just try to sit in the peloton and make it to the finish. I mean, I’m not a medal contender so that’s my goal. My goal was to get a personal record in the time trial and finish the road race. So far, compared to all the other Games, they’re all about the same. People here in Scotland are very friendly. I settled in OK, I didn’t seem to have any jet lag. The travel part was an experience. First, our flight leaving Cayman was cancelled and on the second one, it was delayed in Nassau. We got in a day late but safe.

As for accommodations, it’s great. The buildings and grounds are clean. I think the Games are put together great. What I have seen so far is well organized. As for the Cayman team, I know we have all put in a lot of hard work and training to get here so no matter the outcome, we did Cayman proud.”

Smith, who carried the Cayman flag during the XX Commonwealth Games opening ceremony, placed 36th out of 60 riders in the time trial with a time of 58 minutes, 49 seconds and 64 milliseconds. He was well off the pace set by bronze medalist Geraint Thomas of Wales (47:55.82), silver medalist Rohan Dennis of Australia (47:51.08) and gold medalist Alex Dowsett of England (47:41.78).

Smith says he was slower than he anticipated. “I think it went fairly well, I could have done a little better in the first half of it but I gave it my best shot. I think everything is coming together well. I really came here expecting a personal record. I had 55:30 set for the course and I did around 58:50 so I was a little off. But that’s how it goes sometimes."