GB Cycling Team goes for gold on Day 3 of Para-Cycling Track World Championships in LA
"God save the Queen" sounded out four times at the Velodrome in LA’s Home Depot Centre on Saturday as GB’s men dominated in the Kilo and Sarah Storey in the Women’s Pursuit.
Multiple World and Paralympic Champion Darren Kenny (C3) put the previous day’s disappointing silver ride in the Pursuit behind him and rode a superb 1km Time Trial (1:12.496) to win with a comfortable margin.
Jody Cundy, unbeaten in the C4 Kilo since 2006, showed the world he is on top form in Paralympic year by posting a time of 1:06.001 and winning this blue ribbon event with a 3 second margin over his closest opponent.
“It was a hard Kilo” said Cundy, who is used to breaking the world record during his Kilo ride. “It’s pretty tough out there. I don’t know what it is, whether it’s the air con or if weather conditions have changed, but you just don’t have the same sensation of speed that we had here when we arrived.”
He added: “Still, I’m quite happy to come away with less than a second outside my PB and a lot of good data to take away. It will be good to go to London as World Champion.”
The most electrifying ride of the day came from defending C5 Kilo World Champion Jon-Allan Butterworth. Half way through the time trial, Butterworth’s world record, which he posted in Montichiari last year, was broken by China’s Xingyang Liu.
Butterworth, the last rider to compete, endured the tense wait with calm composure and rode a brilliant time trial which got faster and faster with every lap. The Brit went on to smash Xingyang Liu’s brand new world record with a time of 1:07.212 and clinched gold in his favourite event.
Talking about pre-event nerves, Butterworth said: “When I was going up there (track) I was thinking, right, I have to pull something special out of the bag, but as soon as I was on the start line I knew what I had to do. In the ride I was fighting every single yard.”
Despite the new record, Butterworth admitted he would like to have gone faster: “I felt awesome on Tuesday and today it felt as if I was going slower than in training. Still, it’s nice to break a record and I’ll try and put it right for London.”
Both Cundy and Butterworth are already looking ahead to London where the Kilo will be factored and the C4 and C5 classes combined.
Cundy said: “It will be really exciting. Jon has just come away with gold and we’ll be racing together - two World Champions head to head in the same event. It doesn’t get any better than that.”
The final victory of the day came from Sarah Storey in the C5 3km Pursuit who posted the fastest qualification time in the morning and caught her opponent, Great Neimanas (USA), after only 5.5 laps completed.
In other events, Mark Colbourne won silver in the C1 Kilo, having been pipped by Lopez (ARG) by two tenths of a second, and Shaun McKeown picked up bronze in the C3 Kilo.
Competition concludes tomorrow with Men’s and Women’s Tandem Sprints and the Mixed Team Sprint.
GB Medal Tally
Women’s C5 500mTT – Sarah Storey (PB & British Record) – Day 1
Men’s C1 3km Pursuit – Mark Colbourne – Day 2
Men’s B 1km Time Trial – Anthony Kappes, piloted by Craig MacLean – Day 2
Men’s C3 1km Time Trial – Darren Kenny – Day 3
Men’s C4 1km Time Trial – Jody Cundy – Day 3
Men’s C5 1km Time Trial – Jon-Allan Butterworth – Day 3
Women’s C5 3km Pursuit – Sarah Storey – Day 3
Women B/Vi 3km Pursuit – Aileen McGlynn, piloted by Helen Scott – Day 1
Women’s B 1km Time Trial – Aileen McGlynn, piloted by Helen Scott – Day 2
Men’s B 1km Time Trial – Neil Fachie, piloted by Barney Storey – Day 2
Men’s C3 3km Pursuit – Darren Kenny – Day 2
Men’s C1 1km Time Trial – Mark Colbourne – Day 3
Men’s C4 4km Pursuit – Jody Cundy – Day 2
Men’s C1 1km Time Trial – Shaun McKeown – Day 3