Sophie Unwin and pilot Jenny Holl capped a phenomenal Tokyo Paralympics for Great Britain’s riders with a silver in the women’s B road race at the Fuji International Speedway.
The duo added to the bronze they won on the track in the individual pursuit in a thrilling 92.4 kilometre race and marked a remarkable introduction to the sport for Unwin who only sat on a tandem for the first time 12 months ago.
Their success left Great Britain with an impressive total of 24 cycling medals at Tokyo 2020, ten of them gold.
“I’m a bit shocked, a bit amazed,” said Unwin. “I wasn’t expecting to get silver. That was a really tough race and to come away with silver is just amazing.
“Everyone back home has been really supportive the last 12 months and while I’ve been away, they’ve been sending so many messages, so thank you to them.”
Unwin’s pilot Holl summed up their achievements and the difficulty of the road race, which took place in treacherous, rainy conditions.
"It was pretty scary,” she said. “It was only our fourth ever road race and our first in the rain and the descents were pretty fast.”
The British tandem was one of three that broke away early in their race, with the three teams neck and neck until the closing straight when Ireland’s Katie-George Dunlevy broke clear to victory.
In a thrilling sprint for silver and bronze, the British duo - who only came together as a pair in March - just edged out Sweden’s Louise Jannering’s tandem to take second place. Those two teams finished in a time of 2:36.00, just seven seconds behind the winners.
Unfortunately, their team-mates Lora Fachie and Corrine Hall suffered a mechanical problem on the opening lap but continued to finish fifth.
George Peasgood, winner of a silver medal in the triathlon and bronze in the time trial already at these Paralympics, made a concerted effort to add to that in the men’s C4-5 road race and was prominent early among the lead group.
He eventually finished sixth, covering the 92.4km course in a time of 2:19.43.
Sadly, Steve Bates, and his pilot Adam Duggleby were unable to start the men’s B tandem road race due to injuries they sustained in a crash earlier this week in the time trial.
But that could not detract from a wildly successful Tokyo 2020 for Great Britain whose ten cycling gold medals featured three from Dame Sarah Storey, two from Ben Watson and one each for husband and wife Lora and Neil Fachie, Kadeena Cox, Jaco van Gass and the track team sprint squad.