Three gold medals for the Great Britain Cycling Team on the opening day of Manchester Para-cycling International

Three gold medals for the Great Britain Cycling Team on the opening day of Manchester Para-cycling International

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The Great Britain Cycling Team got off to the perfect start at the Manchester Para-cycling International as they won three gold medals and secured vital Paralympic qualification points.

The world champion tandem pairings of Sophie Thornhill, piloted by Helen Scott, and Neil Fachie, piloted by Pete Mitchell, both produced dominant performances to take gold in the tandem kilo races.

Fachie said he was pleased to pick up the win.

“It’s been an interesting run in to this, we’ve not had the perfect training so we’re just happy to get a performance that’s pretty good.

“We’re still quite a way off of a major championships so we’ve been working on some specific things and I think we achieved what we wanted to in that respect.”

In the mixed team sprint event Kadeena Cox, Jody Cundy and Jon Allan Butterworth produced a performance that would have been good enough for gold at this year’s world championships, winning in 49.820.  Jaco Van Gass, Louis Rolfe and Jon Gildea took bronze in the same event.

Cundy, who has withdrawn from the remaining events this weekend through injury, said it was an encouraging performance.

“The very first time we rode together was the qualifying round today. We went on the track as all three of us together in the warm up and did two starts together and that’s been our sole experience we’ve had together!

“The fact that we improved from heats to final is great, with more practice, more time together, we can move on.”

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Manchester Para-cycling International - day one

Action continues from the National Cycling Centre from 1pm on Saturday afternoon with qualifying for the individual pursuit. You can follow all the events on the British Cycling Twitter or see it for yourself in person – entry for the Manchester Para-cycling International is free all weekend.