GB Paracycling Team Report
Story posted June 17 | Photos: Fred Homan
The Great Britain Paracycling team travelled to Gippingen in Switzerland for the Europa Cup race on June 6th and 7th 2009. With the Paracycling Road Worlds now confirmed for Italy in September, the British team were looking for an opportunity to race against the best in the Europe and the Swiss event was a well supported race with over 20 riders in the combined LC3/4 and CP3 classifications.
The GB team included Simon Richardson, Darren Kenny and Rik Waddon, who all appeared on the podium at the recent Paralympic Track World Cup in Manchester in the kilometre. With a very strong Spanish team at the Europa Cup, the British riders tried to cover the breaks that included a Spanish rider and it was Rik Waddon who got himself into a three up break with a rider from both Spain and the Czech Republic.
Things went wrong for Rik though on lap 2 when the pace was too hard for him and he unfortunately picked up a minor injury and had to withdraw after 3 laps. Meanwhile, Darren Kenny did his best to control the racing in the main bunch which was unable to get across to the lead group which had now been joined by Javier Ochoa from Spain.
On the final lap, it was too much for Kenny to pull back the one minute deficit he had on the lead group and he was content with the sprint finish to finish 3rd CP3 rider over the line. In the same race, Richardson, who is having a really strong season on both track and road, was unable to stay with the main group but did work hard to stay with two fellow LC3 competitors, ending up 7th overall in the LC3 group. Gutierrez and Ochoa made it a Spanish 1-2, with Kenny finishing 3rd CP3 and 4th overall in the race.
A very strong field of 30 riders contended the LC1 race with Britain's sole representative being Russ White who had a great race to finish in 6th place. Although he managed to stay with the lead bunch on the first lap, the pace was relentless and White dropped off the pace on lap 2 but then rode well to maintain a 40 second lead on the main group with a gutsy final two laps, 2 minutes 42 down on the leaders.
In the Time Trial event, the Brits managed to dodge the rain in the 9.4km time trial held on the same course as the road race. In the CP3 category, Waddon's 14.05 earned him 5th place overall in the CP3 category. Meanwhile, Beijing silver medal time triallist, Darren Kenny, came in with a 13.29 but was beaten by both Gutierreez and the winner Ochoa (13.07). Richardson rode well to do a 13.55 to earn him joint 3rd overall in the LC3 category. Meanwhile, Russell White's 13.06 was the fastest of the British riders and he finished 12th overall in the LC1 event won by Germany's Wolfgang Sacher in 12.02.
The team next travel to Sergovia in Spain for the next round of the Europa Cup.