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Reports: Para-Cycling Road World Cup
Event: 4th-6th May 2011, Sydney
Reports: Barney Storey
10 medals for Great Britain at Para-Cycling World Cup in Sydney
Great Britain has walked away with six gold, three silver and a bronze medal from the opening round of the Para-Cycling Road World Cup in Sydney. British women dominated the competition, winning eight out of ten British medals and bagging vital points in the qualification race for the London Paralympics.
Paralympic Champion Rachel Morris clinched gold in the H3 handbike Road Race and the Time Trial and multiple Paralympian Sarah Storey repeated the performance in the C5 category.
Paralympic and World Champion David Stone produced excellent rides on his new trike in the T2 Road Race and Time Trial, matching the women's achievement with two gold medals of his own.
There were also some great wins for up and coming riders. Handcyclist Karen Darke delivered her best to date result for the team with silver in the H2 Road Race and Time Trial.
Lora Turnham, piloted by Fiona Duncan, rode to silver in the B/Vi Time Trial and to bronze in the Road Race, marking a great start to the road season for the new pairing.
Chris Furber, Lead Para-Cycling Coach, said: "We have seen some strong performances from our riders in the last few days and it's particularly pleasing to see Karen Darke win two silvers and the new pairing of Lora Turnham and Fiona Duncan on podium against a world class field.
"We have exceeded our qualification points target for both men and women, which puts is in a good place ahead of the second round of the event in Spain next month, where competition will be even tougher."
This week's Para-Cycling Road World Cup in Sydney opened the road racing season and will continue in Spain next month and in Canada in July, acting as a qualifying series for the 2011 Para-Cycling Road World Championships which will be held in Denmark on 8-11 September.
Women's H3 Handbike Road Race - Rachel Morris
Men's T2 Trike Road Race - David Stone
Women's C5 Road Race - Sarah Storey
Women's H3 Handbike Time Trial - Rachel Morris
Women's C5 Time Trial - Sarah Storey
Men's T2 Trike Time Trial - David Stone
Women's H2 Handbike Road Race - Karen Darke
Women's B/Vi Tandem Time Trial - Lora Turnham, piloted by Fiona Duncan
Women's H2 Time Trial - Karen Darke
Women's B/Vi Tandem Road Race - Lora Turnham, piloted by Fiona Duncan
DAY 3 REPORT - Women's Tandem Road Time Trial / Men's C5, 4, 3 and T2 Road Time Trial / Women's C5, H3 and H2 Road Time Trial
With 3 gold medals, 1 silver medal and 1 bronze for the British riders after the Road Races, attention turned to the final day of competition and the Road Time Trial events across all classes. The 5.5km circuit for the events was based outside the ANZ Stadium in Olympic Park and took the riders on an external lap of the stadium before heading out on a technical loop and back for the finish of each lap. Women's tandems, Men's C5, 4 and 3's all did 4 laps, with Women's C5 and H3 doing 3 laps and Men's T2 and Women's H2 doing 2 laps. It was a hectic morning of fast and exciting races with lots action and some great results for the British team.
Women's H3 Road Time Trial
World Champion for the H3 Road Time Trial, Rachel Morris was last off in her class and moved easily through the field catching riders in a dominant and very impressive performance. On a circuit that proved tough for the handbikes and trikes with all the off camber sections and constant cornering, it was a superb performance that also secured Morris the World Cup leader's jersey. Talking after receiving her medal, Rachel said, "I'm really happy, it was good to win by a bigger margin than expected."
Women's H3 Road Time Trial result:
1. R. Morris GBR
2. C. Hansen DEN
3. S. Reid NZL
Men's T2 Road Time Trial
Great Britain's 2nd World Champion in the Road Time Trial, for the Men's T2 class is of course David Stone and after his victory in the Road Race he was looking to complete the double. With his closest rival, Farroni of Italy showing strongly during the final lap of the Road Race, it was expected to be a close race, but Stone had already taken 15 seconds out of his opponent in the first of two laps. Accelerating further as he entered the 2nd lap, Stone looked supreme as he took a further 30 seconds out of Farroni and crossed the line to secure the gold medal and overall World Cup lead.
Stone commented about the race which had proved to be quite eventful. "I'm really pleased to win again and it was an eventful race for me; as I was finishing my first lap i was aware there was another rider sitting on my wheel. As we came across the start/finish line to turn right and start the last lap, the rider then tried to undertake me on the corner and we had a touch of wheels before i accelerated away from him!"
Men's T2 Road Time Trial result:
1. D. Stone GBR
2. G. Farroni ITA
3. S. Pearce USA
Women's C5 Road Time Trial
Double Road World Champion from 2009 and 2010, Sarah Storey was Britain's 3rd rider looking to complete the double here in Sydney too. Setting off last in her field she soon had the three riders in front of her in her sights and passed them all before the finish. She powered her way through riders from other classes, and their cars, which slowed her up a little in the final lap! Not that it mattered as Storey again showed her Time Trialling pedigree and versatility across all different types of courses.
After her time had been confirmed Storey commented, "I think I would have been 4th in the men's going along at that speed and I felt in control throughout. The technical circuit was great fun, not the usual dual carriageway boredom, so the sprinting out of corners and extra power needed to pass riders before the next technical bit, made it all good fun!"
Women's C5 Road Time Trial results:
1. S. Storey GBR
2. G. Neimanas USA
3. C. Mclean AUS
Women's H2 Road Time Trial
Karen Darke has not been with the British squad for 12 months yet, but already she is establishing herself as gutsy and reliable performer and after a silver medal in the road race she was looking to further make her mark on the women's H2 class. Her American rival who had taken the gold medal in the road race was again in flying form, but Darke was comfortably in silver medal position, putting 50 seconds into the World Championship bronze medallist, the girl who'd beaten Darke twice at the World Championships. It was again another impressive marker of Darke's swift improvements and with the next round of the World Cup in about 5 weeks time, she was keen to test herself against the other European riders in her class.
"The American girl was just streaks ahead again today," said Darke after her medal ceremony. "I've managed to beat the bronze medallist from Worlds again, so am looking forward to seeing how I've improved against the World Champion when we head to the European races. If I can race strongly there too, it will put me in a good position to challenge for a spot on the podium at this year's Road Worlds."
Women's H2 Road Time Trial results:
1. M. Davis USA
2. K. Darke GBR
3. F. Fenocchio ITA
Women's Tandem Road Time Trial
Lora Turnham and Fiona Duncan were first up for GB and the short turnaround since their road race yesterday was a good test of their powers of recovery. Last off in the tandem field they were chasing some very talented pairings and at half distance looked to be well on for a podium place and showing no signs of fatigue after the efforts fo the road race. Powering through the final lap, their fast finish proved vital as they turned over the 3rd position they had been sitting in for most of the race. With just 2 between them and the Canadian pairing who had won the Road Race it was a silver for the British pair and a great start for the team.
Women's Tandem Road Time Trial Result
1. Parsons/Waddell NZL
2. Turnham/Duncan GBR
3. Weldon/Bessette CAN
Men's C5, C4 and C3 Road Time Trial
Russ White in the C5 class, Jody Cundy in the C4 class and Rik Waddon in the C3 class, were all off within quick succession of each other and looking to climb the rankings in their respective clases. White was the unfortunate victim of a mechanical but still managed to continue on to finish in 6th position gradually getting quicker as the laps went on. Cundy was 6th after the first lap and started to fade in the middle section but then a strong final lap pushed him back up the leaderboard and he was successful in beating three of the riders who'd finished ahead of him in the road race and was confirmed in a very credible 6th place. Waddon was looking very likely for a medal at the end of the first lap as he crossed with the 3rd fastest time and looked to be getting faster. His opponents were also increasing their pace though and after 2 laps Waddon slipped to 4th place which is where he finished at full distance.
Men's C5 Road Time Trial results:
1. A. Tarlao ITA
2. M. Gallagher AUS
3. C. Miller IRL
6. R. White GBR
Men's C4 Road Time Trial results:
1. J. Bouska CZE
2. M. Gattringer AUT
3. M. Pittacolo ITA
6. J. Cundy GBR
Men's C3 Road Time Trial results:
1. J. Galletaud FRA
2. R. Bargna ITA
3. N. Smith NZL
4. R. Waddon GBR
DAY 2 REPORT
Three medals for Great Britain on Day 2 of Para-Cycling Road World Cup
Day 2 - Women's C5 Road Race / Men's C3 Road Race / Men's T2 Trike Road Race / Women's Tandem Road Race
Great Britain's great performance continued on Day 2 of the competition with some excellent rides in the road races on the Eastern Creek motor racing circuit in Sydney. Gold medals for David Stone and Sarah Storey and a bronze medal for Lora Turnham and Fiona Duncan, which again provided the team with valuable qualification points for the London 2012 Paralympic Games.
Women's C5 Road Race
World Champion Sarah Storey was in the Women's C5 road race for Great Britain. The race was over six laps of the Eastern Creek motor racing circuit, which provided a challenge for the riders with the undulating terrain of the circuit. The race quickly settled, with riders working together to keep the pace high and before long the group split, with riders getting dropped in technical and undulating sections of the course. With three laps remaining Storey had clearly worked out her best possible places to use her pace and power to distance her opposition. Then with two and a half laps remaining Storey tested her opponents and quickly opened up a gap over a slight rise, with the riders strung out behind her. Over the final two laps she further extended her lead to around 3 minutes 30 at the finish. This excellent result comes after only landing in the country the day before, following the successful defence of the Bedford 2 Day title in the UK.
Above: GB's Sarah Storey in command of the C5 Women's Road Race.
Storey commented after her race: "I sat in the group for the first few laps just to see how my legs were feeling after landing 24 hours ago. After a couple of laps I knew there were two or three decent places for an attack, so had other options if the first dig didn't work. With around two and a half laps to go, as we took the fast left hander back onto the motor racing circuit I was able to carry more speed coming out and up the rise and into the headwind. The gap opened up reasonably well and I was able to ride hard all the way to the finish. I'm really pleased with the win on a pretty tough circuit."
1. S. Storey GBR
2. G. Neimanas USA
3. C. McLean AUS
Men's T2 Road Race
Great Britain's entrant in the T2 men's trike road race was the World Champion David Stone. Stone was to contest three laps of the circuit which was sure to test his trike racing skills, with corners and cambers of the circuit. As the race started Stone's main danger, the Italian, Frazoni was quick to take the lead with Stone. The pair quickly opened up gaps on the rest of the trike peleton, with the pair swapping the lead until Stone decided to attack the Italian. Stone's lead was steadily built up over the final lap, where he used his power and superior technical ability to extend the lead. It was only on the last lap where Frazoni gave absolutely everything to close the gap, which was at 15 seconds coming into the finish, but Stone had done enough to win and secure the gold medal.
Above: Stone leads Franzoni on his way to victory in the T2 road race.
Stone commented after the race: "From the start Franzoni and I signalled to each other to work together to split the group. Then when the group had been narrowed down I attacked him on the climb. I was stronger than him on the climbs and he was gaining back time going downhill. It was a good event for me and it was great to win!"
1. D. Stone GBR
2. L. Frazoni ITA
3. S. Pearce USA
Men's C3 Road Race
Rik Waddon represented Great Britain's in this event. The race covered six laps of the circuit, with several riders losing contact fairly quickly before the race settled down into six riders at the head of the race. Going into the final two laps, the two Italians and two French riders were attacking the group until it split on the final lap with Gulletaud the French rider taking the victory and Bargna just finishing behind. Fujita won the group sprint with Waddon coming 5th.
Waddon commented after the race: "I sat in and waited to see what happened as the race went on. Having just come off the track season in March I am happy with 5th place as I am approaching the season slightly differently by not having my best form until the World Championships in August. I'm not into my full road training yet, so that will help for the World Championships."
1. J. Gulletaud FRA
2. R. Bargna ITA
3. M. Fujita JPN
5. R. Waddon GBR
Women's Tandem Road Race
The women's tandem road race was one of the final races of the second day at the World Cup, with Lora Turnham and Fiona Duncan riding for Great Britain. This was the first outing for the pairing on the Road World Cup circuit after a successful track World Championships in March. The field also included current World Champions Robi Weldon and former Tour De L'Aude winner, Lynne Bessette as pilot for the Canadian tandem.
With the race being very tactical from the off, no one was prepared to let anyone gain too much advantage. As the race approached half distance it was the World Champions from Canada who initiated the first big attack which split the field and left British pairing Turnham and Duncan in the lead group of three with the Canadians and World Pursuit Champions from New Zealand. Extending their advantage the lead group just had to sort out their positions on the podium and it was again the Canadian tandem that made the move for the finish, attacking up one of the many rises in the motor racing circuit, about 2km from the line. This proved to be the decisive move and left the British pair to fight it out with their rivals from the track. In a re-run of the Tandem Pursuit final from Montichiari less than two months ago, the sprint for the silver started a long way out but it was the Kiwis who were able to drive the hardest and they took the silver by a bike length. It was a brilliant bronze for Turnham and Duncan who have only been riding together since January.
After they had recovered, Lora said, "We're delighted to win the medal. We are a new partnership for the road, so once we spend more time together we know there is more to come in the technical areas."
All nine British riders will compete in the time trials on the final day of the competition tomorrow.
DAY 1 REPORT
Women's Handbike Road Race / Men's C5 Road Race / Men's C4 Road Race
Above: Rachel Morris (foreground) and Karen Darke made an excellent start to GB's Sydney campaign with Gold and Silver respectively in hand-cycling events (image: Barney Storey).
Great Britain had an excellent start to the UCI Para-Cycling Road World Cup in Sydney, with a gold and silver medal on the first day of competition.
Hand-cyclists Rachel Morris and Karen Darke were Great Britain's medallists on the first day of road racing at the Eastern Creek motor racing circuit, Sydney. In the Men's road race, Russ White (C5) and Jody Cundy (C4) faced a tough start to the competition with a 6th and 9th place respectively.
This event is again an important event for Great Britain Para-Cycling team, as it carries vital qualification points for the London 2012 Paralympic Games. Scoring healthy points at the first of three road world cup events gives athletes a greater chance of scoring enough nation places for London 2012 Paralympic Games.
Women's Handbike Road Race H2/3
2010 World Champion Rachel Morris lined up as the favourite for the handbike road race and didn't disappoint! Setting a furious pace over the first climb the field split with Morris forcing the pace with an American competitor. This particular handbike race had classifications H3 and H2 combined, with Karen Darke also competing in this race. Darke, whose best at last year's World Championships was a fourth place, was constantly pushing her competitors in the H2 competition. Darke was rewarded with a silver medal in the H2 class, while Morris demolished her opposition to take the gold medal in the road race. This was an ideal start for the Great Britain Team who have a strong squad contesting the first World Cup of the year in Sydney.
Morris commented after her race: "This was the first real test of the year and it was really good to get the win! The riders were really strung out at the start and then I just put the pressure on over the first climb and the group split. Great to race in the rainbow jersey too!"
1. R. Morris GBR
2. S. Reid NZL
3. C. Hanson DEN
1. M. Davis USA
2. K. Darke GBR
3. F. Fenocchio ITA
Men's C5 Road Race
Great Britain's entrant in the C5 men's road race was the ever reliable Russ White, who was sixth in his road race. Andrea Taolo (ITA) was the victor, proving his win in last year's world championship time trial was no "one off"! A small group got away with Italy and Australia well represented, with White having the large Italian Team to contend with all the way to the finish. White picks up good qualification points and now looks to test his form against the watch in Friday's time trial.
1. A. Taolo ITA
2. M. Gallagher AUS
3. P. Addessi ITA
6. R. White GBR
Men's C4 Road Race
Jody Cundy made his debut in the UCI Para-Cycling Road World Cup series with a solid 9th place in the unfamiliar surroundings of road racing. The C4/C5 groups were combined on the road and Cundy got stuck into the action right from the start, then finishing in the top 10 gaining valuable points for his category. Cundy also looks to the road time trial on Friday, Day 3 of the competition to score more points for the nation.
1. M. Pittacolo ITA
2. Jiri Bouska CZE
3. R. Hughes AUS
9. J. Cundy GBR
Day 2 of the competition will see GB's Rik Waddon (C3), Sarah Storey (C5), David Stone (T2) and Lora Turnham (B/Vi), piloted by Fiona Duncan, compete in the Road Race. All nine British riders will ride the Time Trial on Friday.