Karen Darke

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Karen Darke

Revised: January 2017

Current Team
Time-trial, Road Race
DOB
25/06/1971
From
Hebden Bridge, Halifax
Social Links
Twitter

Karen's Profile

About Karen

Karen joined the Great Britain Cycling Team in 2010 and since doing so has become one of the most consistent medallists on the team winning Paralympic gold in the time-trial at Rio 2016, adding to the silver medal she won in the same event at London 2012.

Biography

A keen athlete from a young age, Karen’s first love was climbing. However in 1993, at the age of 21, a climbing accident left her paralysed from the chest down.

After her accident Karen completed a number of expeditions including handbiking the length of Japan.

The success of these expeditions encouraged Karen to start racing on the handbike and in 2010 she joined the Great Britain Cycling Team.

Karen enjoyed immediate success in 2011 winning bronze medals in the time trial and the road race at the UCI Para-cycling Road World Championships in Denmark  as well as picking up three silver medals in world cup events.

In 2012 Karen continued to impress in world cup events as she prepared for her first Paralympic Games.

Karen enjoyed a successful first Paralympics winning a silver medal in her favoured event, the time-trial, before switching her attention to the road race.

Although, ultimately, she didn’t medal, Karen and fellow British rider Rachel Morris provided one of the moments of the Games. In a battle for third place the team-mates and friends decided that rather than battle for the final spot on the podium, they would cross the line together hand in hand. The medal was eventually awarded to Morris by the commissaires.

Paralympic gold

Following her success at London, Karen turned her attentions to Rio and that elusive gold medal.

At the 2014 UCI Para-cycling Road World Championships Karen won silver and bronze in the time trial and road race respectively as well as picking up the first gold medal of her career in the time trial at the UCI Para-cycling Road World Cup in Italy.

Although Karen was disappointed with two fourth places at the 2015 UCI Road World Championships, she medalled five times at world cups and continued that form in 2016 winning silver and bronze in the time trial and road at the UCI Para-cycling Road World Cup in Ostend, her final major event before the Paralympics in Rio.

It was in Rio that she would enjoy her greatest success, dominating the time-trial event and winning the first Paralympic gold medal of her career.

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Selected Career Highlights to Date

2016

UCI para-cycling Road World Cup, Ostend (Belgium)
Silver, Time trial
Bronze, Road race

Paralympic Games, Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)
Gold, Time trial

2015

UCI Para-cycling Road World Cup, Maniago (Italy)
Bronze, Road race

UCI Para-cycling Road World Cup, Yverdon-les-Bains (Switzerland)
Silver, Time trial

UCI Para-cycling Road World Cup, Pietermaritzburg (South Africa)
Silver, Road race
Silver, Time trial

2014

UCI Para-cycling Road World Championships, Greenville (USA)
Silver, Time trial
Bronze - Road race

UCI Para-cycling Road World Cup, Segovia (Spain)
Bronze, Road race
Bronze, Time trial

UCI Para-cycling Road World Cup, Castiglione Della Pescaia (Italy)
Gold, Time trial

2012

Paralympic Games, London (UK)
Silver, Time trial

UCI Para-cycling Road World Cup, Segovia (Spain)
Silver, Road race
Silver, Time trial

UCI Para-cycling Road World Cup, Rome (Italy)
Bronze, Road race
Silver, Time trial

2011

UCI Para-cycling Road World Championships, Roskilde (Denmark)
Bronze, Time trial
Bronze, Road race

UCI Para-cycling Road World Cup, Segovia (Spain)
Silver, Time trial
Silver, Road race

UCI Para-cycling Road World Cup, Sydney (Australia)

Silver, Time trial


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National Track Championships