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Great Britain para-cyclists storm to four gold medals in Apeldoorn

Great Britain para-cyclists storm to four gold medals in Apeldoorn

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The Great Britain Para-cycling Team struck gold four times on the opening day of the 2015 UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships in Apeldoorn on Thursday.

Medals came thick and fast in the afternoon session at the Omnisport Arena with Dame Sarah Storey, Jody Cundy and both British tandem pairings both taking world titles in a day of 500-metre and kilometre time trials.

Sarah Storey opened Britain’s account with a surprise victory in the C5 500-metre time trial, stopping the clock on 37.947, three hundredths ahead of fellow Briton Crystal Lane who took silver.

"I just can't stop laughing,” said Storey, who had been focussing on the distance events later in the competition. “Such a short race and obviously my speciality and the thing that I'm good at is longer stuff.

"It's still a long way off what I'm capable of - my PB is 36.9 so there's still plenty of scope for me to go back to where I was at my best in London."

Jody Cundy was next, with an emphatic 1:04.381 in the C4 kilometre, retaining his title and recording a sea-level PB.

"It was pretty hard work today,” said Cundy. “It’s the first kilo for a long while where I haven't been able to move and rolling around like a drama queen on the floor!

"It's great to keep getting faster and faster - to keep getting sea-level PBs and to be getting faster on a personal level that's a really good move."

Hot on the heels of Cundy’s gold came a successful B kilometre time trial title defence for Sophie Thornhill, piloted by Commonwealth Games gold winning partner Helen Scott, in a time of 1:07.553.

"It feels amazing to come here and defend my title that I won last year and to do it with Scotty is brilliant,” said Thornhill. “I couldn't have asked for more."

For Scott it was her first rainbow jersey, Thornhill having been piloted by Rachel James a year ago in Aguascalientes.

"We're such good friends - to go out there and do the time that we did,” said Scott. “I can't believe it - I just had no idea we were going to go that fast so I'm absolutely chuffed to bits!"

Rounding out the medals in the afternoon were Neil Fachie and Pete Mitchell, smashing the opposition with a 1:01.787 to keep a tight grip on the world title they claimed together a year ago.

"I'm really happy," said Fachie of his seventh world title. "We had a fairly steady first half lap because we had a bit of an incident with our bike because the chain jammed.

"I think if you take that into account I think we're pretty much on target for a sea-level record.

"I had no real thoughts of going that quick before we came here so I'm delighted."

Earlier 17-year-old Louis Rolfe made his world championships debut in the C2 kilometre time trial, finishing seventh with a 1:19.195 as world record holder Hao Xie of China retained the world title.

Former soldier Jaco van Gass made his first world championships appearance for Great Britain in the C4 kilometre, finishing eighth.

Megan Giglia also debuted, the first Great Britain rider to take to the track, auspiciously, on her 30th birthday. Giglia, who has right side paralysis after a stroke in 2013, clocked 44.736 for the C3 500-metre time trial, just two thousandths of a second shy of the medals.

Watch highlights of day one on The Organizing Connection's YouTube channel.

Giglia and Louis Rolfe return to the track on Friday in a day of C1 to C3 men’s and women’s pursuiting action.

Follow the action on our live blog and on Twitter @BritishCycling.

Results

Women's C3 500-metre time trial
Men's C2 kilometre time trial
Women's C5 500-metre time trial
Men's C4 kilometre time trial
Women's B kilometre time trial
Men's B kilometre time trial