In the absence of England's Olympic time trial champion Bradley Wiggins, who opted to compete in the track events, the 25-year-old Dowsett swept round the 40km course, which passed through the Scottish countryside before coming back into Glasgow, in a time of 47:41.78.

Australia's Rohan Dennis, who looked to be heading for gold until Dowsett stormed through the final section to make up a five-second deficit, finished nearly 10 seconds behind to claim silver with Geraint Thomas of Wales taking bronze.

"Nobody wanted that more than I did after the disappointment of not being picked for the Tour de France," Team Movistar rider Dowsett, who won Commonwealth silver in Delhi four years ago, told the BBC.

"I've been angry all this month, ever since I was a kid I have pulled something out of the bag when I have been really angry. It's pretty special that."

New Zealand's Linda Villumsen won gold in the women's road race thanks to a strong finish, beating England's Olympic silver medallist Emma Pooley, who will switch to a career in triathlon after Sunday's road race, by six seconds.

Villumsen completed the 30km course in 42:25.46, ahead of the 31-year-old Pooley with Australia's Katrin Garfoot claiming bronze.

"It was close but I'm happy to be on the podium, there was nothing I could have done any better," Pooley said.

"I'm really grateful to have had the opportunity to compete for so long, and am grateful to those who have supported me over the past seven or eight years. To get a medal today tops everything."

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