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Great Britain matches best ever medal haul on final day of 2024 UCI Para-cycling world championships

Great Britain matches best ever medal haul on final day of 2024 UCI Para-cycling world championships

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The Great Britain Cycling Team started the Paralympic year by showing their dominance, delivering their best ever world championship medal count of 32 at the 2024 UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships.

A total of 13 gold, 14 silver and five bronze medals were won by the 27 strong team over the five-day event, comfortably topping the medal table and asserting themselves once again as the world’s best para-cycling team.

It was another British podium 1-2 for the women’s tandems, with Lizzi Jordan and Danni Khan securing their third title of the championships while Sophie Unwin and Jenny Holl claimed the silver medal in the sprint event.

Having qualified fastest, Jordan and Khan sailed through each heat before facing second fastest qualifiers and teammates Unwin and Holl in the final.

In a battle for gold, Jordan and Khan went long, sprinting with two laps to go, leaving Unwin and Holl behind on both ride offs, to take their third world title and another British 1-2.

On winning three tandem titles, Khan said:

“I’m pretty speechless. If we had said on paper last week what wanted to come away with, I definitely wouldn’t have expected three golds for our first ever worlds together and having been on the tandem for three months. It’s just amazing and I’m so proud of us both and can’t wait for the rest of the year to see what we can do together.

Jordan added: 

“I think when we won the kilo it was really special to get a win together in our first race but to do it again two more times it’s a bit unreal really!”

Fachie and Rotherham win third men's tandem sprint title in a row

Neil Fachie and Matt Rotherham took their third consecutive sprint title in the men’s tandem event after faultless performances throughout the day, while James Ball and Steff Lloyd took the bronze medal.

Fachie and Rotherham were the only sprinting duo to go under 10 seconds in the men’s tandem event, qualifying fastest with a time of 9.810. The duo faced teammates Ball and Lloyd in the semi-finals, after both pairs eased through the quarters in straight rides. Fachie and Rotherham continued to prove their dominance, beating their fellow Brits 2-0 to go through to the gold medal ride off against France, while Ball and Lloyd battled for the bronze.

Fachie and Rotherham continued to ride powerfully, taking the gold medal with ease in two straight rides, with Fachie crossing the line with his arms aloft. Ball and Lloyd shared the same fate, taking two incredible wins to secure the bronze medal over the United States.

Steve Bate and pilot Chris Latham finished ninth, while Chris McDonald and Adam Duggleby came home 11th.

Mixed team sprint win silver medal at the 2024 UCI para-cycling track world championships

In the C1-5 mixed team sprint, the Paralympic champion trio of Kadeena Cox, Jody Cundy and Jaco van Gass took to the boards and qualified second fastest with a time of 48.747. In the final, Blaine Hunt joined the team, swapped in for Cundy to help deliver a 48.634 second ride to win the silver medal.

Jaco van Gass finished off his world championships in style, winning the men's C3 scratch race. which also secured the omnium title to make it his third gold medal of the championships.  The scratch race, which also saw teammate Fin Graham compete, was full throttle from the start, with riders regularly attempting breakaways and small groups managing to get away for lap takes.

Around the halfway point, vas Gass spotted a gap and stormed through on the black line under the bunch to get away and take a lap, putting him well-paced for the win. The pace let up and Graham made a couple of unsuccessful attempts to go for laps before pushing for the sprint finish alongside van Gass and New Zealand’s Devon Briggs. Due to his lap take, van Gass took the title, while Graham finished sixth overall, putting him third in the omnium standings to claim the bronze medal.

On taking three rainbow jerseys this championships, van Gass said: 

“It’s phenomenal. It blows my mind sometimes, especially this competition. I went into the scratch tied on points with the New Zealand rider [Devon Briggs], with Fin a few points behind us. It was so tight, so I was monitoring it. I had a busy day with two team sprints in my legs, so I really didn’t know what to expect. I always race hard, so I thought I’d give it a go, a great opportunity came up to attempt a lap and it came off. I’m very pleased and very happy and it’s three more to the collection.”

Jaco van Gass wins the men's C3 scratch race

Daphne Schrager, Amelia Cass and Katie Toft contested the women’s C1-2 scratch race, which was led for the most part by China’s Quian Wangwei, who made a gutsy breakaway in an attempt to gain a lap. In the bunch, Cass and Schrager worked hard to maintain control and position well throughout the race. With three laps to go, the race animated with Wangwei pulled back in by the bunch and Amanda Reid of Australia launching the sprint.

The Brits were unable to match her, and Schrager took fifth place, with Cass finishing in sixth, while Toft finished second, taking the C1 silver medal. This result would see Toft and Schrager claim silver medals in the women’s C1 and C2 omniums, while Cass finished sixth over the four C2 events.

Daphne Schrager on the women's C2 omnium podium

The men’s C2 scratch race was fierce from the gun, with Ryan Taylor making a move early on only to be quickly brought back by the group. French rider Alexandre Leaute made a solo move, taking a lap on the field while midway through the race, Matt Robertson managed to follow a move to be in a breakaway group of five. 

The group managed to stay just ahead for most of the second half of the race, with the chasing peloton at their heels. Robertson stayed in medal contention until the final few laps but was unable to make the sprint and just missed out on the podium in fourth place. However, after a steady string of results this championships, Robertson took the men’s C2 omnium bronze medal as Taylor finished ninth overall.

Speaking on his medal, Robertson said quote:

“I couldn’t have raced that any better to be perfectly honest. I finished fourth in the scratch, and I was slightly disappointed, I should have gone a lap earlier. To get third in the omnium is what I came here for, and I can’t be any prouder than what I’ve done this week. I upped my game in every event and hopefully that’ll take me closer to Paris selection. I’m really, really happy.”

Blaine Hunt took the bronze medal in the men’s C5 omnium after a hard-ridden scratch race to end the championships, while teammate Will Bjergfelt finished 15th overall. The scratch race itself was all to play for until the very end, well-ridden by both riders, a medal was just not to be, and Hunt crossed the finish line eighth while Bjergfelt came in 12th. 

Morgan Newberry i the women's C5 scratch race

In the women’s C5 scratch race, Morgan Newberry delivered a good ride, but unfortunately losing a lap put her out of contention for a medal and she finished in seventh place, putting her in ninth position in the omnium standings.