World champions Lora Turnham and Corrine Hall got back to winning ways at the Verola Para-cycling Cup in Italy on Sunday, with victory in the tandem B time trial.
The event is the first of two preparatory events for Great Britain’s para-cyclists in Italy ahead of the first round of the UCI Para-cycling Road World Cup in Maniago from 5-7 June.
Turnham and Hall, who were re-united as a pairing after a spell of injury for Hall, immediately gelled and saw off the challenge of the Netherlands Kim Van Dijk and Odette van Deudekom, with Spain’s Judith Masdeu Cort and Josefa Benitez Guzman third.
The result came after the British duo were narrowly pipped to the win in the road race, beaten by one thousandth of a second by the Dutch pair in a result originally called as a dead heat.
There was victory too for world championship silver medallist Karen Darke, who beat off the Italian challenge of Francesca Fenocchio in the H3 time trial. Great Britain’s Jen Browning was fourth, in her first international outing with the squad.
Darke’s victory followed her second place in the H3 road race on Saturday with Browning fifth.
A win from Paralympic Development Programme rider Liz Saul in the C4 time trial was the highlight of a string of promising performances from the squad’s up-and-coming athletes who went to Italy to gain international experience prior to the world cup season.
Twenty-two-year-old Hannah Dines was second in the T2 time trial behind Germany’s Jana Majunke.
Hannah Hunt and Caroline Wareing were third and fourth respectively in the H4 time trial while Simon Price was second in the C2 road race and third in the time trial.
Paralympic Academy Programme rider Brian Alldis was seventh in both the H4 time trial and road race with Paralympic Development Programme rider Steve Arnold 11th in the road race and 12th in the time trial.
The results pleased Great Britain Para-cycling Team road coach Paul Dring, who takes the squad to the nearby Brixia Para-cycling Cup next weekend, 1-3 May.
“Our experienced podium athletes delivered some strong performances in both the road race and time trial,” said Dring.
“I was particularly pleased with Simon’s ride in the time trial where he showed that he has closed the gap on some of the best C2 riders against the clock. He was unlucky to have a mechanical issue 500 metres from the line in the road race which cost him the win.
“Karen lost out in a sprint finish in the road race but showed her class in the time trial with a convincing win in the H3 event. It was such an impressive ride that she even beat the entire H4 field by a significant margin.”
Dring concluded: “There were some very encouraging signs at the start of a busy season whilst also identifying key areas where we can make further improvements.
“We have another event just down the road next week where we can build on this week’s performances, as we prepare for two world cups and the world championships in June and July.”