UCI Para Cycling World Championships
Location: Baie Comeau, Canada
Event: 29 August - 01 September 2013
Day four of the Para-Cycling Road World Championships brought the final day of road racing to Baie Comeau, Canada with both Darren Kenny and the tandem pairing of Lora Turnham and Corrine Hall hoping to reach the podium and continue the medal winning habit started by David Stone on day one.
Kenny was off first in the C1-3 men's road race and started well, sitting at the head of the bunch for the first couple of laps. However, with the strength of the C3 athletes growing year-on-year, the GB rider was unable to keep responding to the repeated attacks made by the Russian Alexsey Obydennov and got pushed down the field. The race stayed together and the eventual winner, Germany's Steffan Warrias finished only three seconds ahead of Kenny who crossed the line in 12th.
The tandems were racing in the early afternoon and with the hopes of making a second podium, the Great Britain pairing were fired up for the fight. The race stayed together for the first three of the six laps with only the weaker Brazilian pairings dropping early. However with the group having to navigate a 1.2km 7.2% average climb every lap, on their third time up the hill the group began to split with only five bikes staying in the contention for a medal place. This quickly dropped to three, the powerful but heavy New Zealand London medallist duo and their new team mates both unable to maintain the pace of the climb.
With two laps to go the Polish pairing made contact again and only Turnham and Hall still had the legs to respond, leaving only two bikes in contention for the rainbow jersey. However Wnuczek and Podkoscielna ability to climb was too great on the day, finishing over 30 seconds ahead ahead and claiming a well desreved world title.
Turnham and Hall, who had hit the top spot two days earlier in the time trial, came through a convincing second with the third place going to the Spanish tandem pairing of Benitez Guzman and Masdeu Cort.
However the third place was appealed by the New Zealand team of Foy and Vermunt who believed the move was illegal because of the nearby presence of cyclists competing in the nine-lap men’s B road race, which started two minutes earlier then the women’s equivalent.
Rules state a 20-second gap is needed between the men’s and women’s races to avoid the tactic of drafting. Until such a gap is formed the race is ‘neutralised’ and goes into a phase of non-competition between the riders. The appeal was not upheld and the Spanish pairing took the bronze medal.
Great Britain return from the championships with two gold and two silver medals.