Sophie Thornhill and Helen Scott secured their second title of the week as Great Britain enjoyed a medal-laden final day of the UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships in Apeldoorn.
The tandem pairing successfully defended their kilo title yesterday, and returned today to put in yet another dominant display to win the sprint crown. After qualifying fastest – in their second quickest time as a duo – the defending champions progressed serenely through the rounds before defeating Australian pairing Jessica Gallagher and Madison Janssen in the final.
Afterwards, Thornhill said:
“These championships have been amazing – we’ve put in some really solid rides and come away with some amazing performances.”
Thornhill and Scott’s victory was one of twin tandem triumphs, as Neil Fachie and Matt Rotherham secured victory in the men’s event in the most dramatic fashion.
The reigning champions were up against team-mates James Ball and Pete Mitchell in the final, and already leading 1-0, looked to have the second heat wrapped up as well, before they crashed at speed coming into the home straight.
Both were helped from the track on their feet sporting visible injuries, but the commissaires took the decision that the duo would have claimed gold anyway, and awarded them the victory.
Fachie said afterwards:
“We were hungry. We were really disappointed to lose our kilo title to James and Pete yesterday – fair play to them for winning it, but we wanted to win badly today, and we wanted to prove that we can still be the best in the world. Today, up until the crash, went perfect – exactly to plan – we were strong and I’m really proud of the way we bounced back.”
In the team sprint event, the trio of Jody Cundy, Jon-Allan Butterworth and Louis Rolfe finished second to the Chinese team. The British defending champions registered the fastest time in qualification, but were beaten by 0.2 seconds in the final.
Will Bjergfelt added a silver medal to the tally in the MC5 scratch race; taking a lap alongside eventual winner, Australian Alistair Donohoe, and bronze medallist Daniel Abraham Gebru of the Netherlands. Bjergfelt was then able to outsprint his Dutch rival to claim second place, and what was his first ever world championship medal.
Jon Gildea finished eighth in the same race, and in doing so won the MC5 omnium, which is being trialled as a test event – with no medal or jersey awarded – for every category.
British duo Fin Graham and Ben Watson finished sixth and ninth respectively in the MC3 scratch. Both animated the race early on, but it was Australian David Nicholas who asserted his authority as the event wore on, and eventually took gold.
Today’s action means that Great Britain finish the championships with 20 medals – their highest ever total at a UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships. Dame Sarah Storey contributed three of those medals including two gold, while Cundy, Kadeena Cox, Katie Toft and Ball and Mitchell were also crowned world champions this week.