2011 UCI Para-Cycling Road World Championships
Location: Roskilde, Denmark
Event: 8-11 September 2011
British riders picked up four medals on the opening day of the Para-Cycling Road World Championships in Denmark.
There was bronze for Shaun McKeown (C3) and Karen Darke (H2), silver for Mark Colbourne (C1) and gold for Sarah Storey (C5) in the 15.2km time trial that took place on a technical, rolling course in Roskilde near Copenhagen.
Sarah Storey rode a brilliant race to claim the eleventh world title of her cycling career. She caught up with other riders relatively quickly to take a lead of 1 minute 37 seconds ahead of Poland's Anna Harkowska. She said: "I was a bit nervous about it, I was going for my third TT world title in a row. I won the event in Beijing and it's great to go into a Paralympic year with a world champion jersey plus you get to keep it for two years and that's always a bonus. I think a year before London it's important to put a strong marker down and give yourself that psychological advantage."
Mark Colbourne made an incredible debut at his first World Championships and clenched silver, finishing 34 seconds behind Germany's Mark Teuber. "I am really pleased with my race. It was tough and I got held up by two cars but it just fuelled my determination to really push at the end. I am absolutely over the moon to have won silver just two and a half years after breaking my back in a para-gliding accident. I'm dedicating the medal to my daughter."
Shaun McKeown went into the Time Trial hoping to improve on his bronze medal from last year but the exposed course proved testing for him: "It was a tough race against time, very technical and windy. I couldn't read the weather and where the gusts were coming from so I had to be cautious and couldn't go full pelt into corners." Although slightly disappointed, McKeown rode the TT in a very respectable 21 minutes 43 seconds, finishing just 14 seconds behind the leader, Australia's David Nicholas. "I rode as hard as I could and third is better than fourth. I haven't reached the ceiling yet and today will just spur me on to better and bigger things" said McKeown.
Karen Darke, who has shown great form this year, picked up her first medal at world championship level today. She came third behind two very strong and experienced riders, Switzerland's Ursula Schwaller and USA's Marianna Davis. "I am really pleased. I needed to come in the top three to be in the mix for London so I achieved my aim and I'm really happy. I had a good ride, nobody passed me, I passed lots of people. The competition is really amazing, the two girls that were ahead of me are fantastic athletes but I think I've got a good chance of creeping up to the next place and who knows, maybe I can make gold in London. That's my dream."
GB Medal Tally:
Women's C5 Time Trial - Sarah Storey - Full Results
Men's C1 Time Trial - Mark Colbourn - Full Results