Lora Fachie and Corrine Hall claimed a bronze medal for Great Britain on the second day of the UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships in the Netherlands.
The defending tandem pursuit champions recorded the third fastest time in qualifying – 3:30.540 – which led to a bronze medal ride-off against Irish duo Katie-George Dunlevy and Eve McCrystal. The lead changed hands several times during a closely-fought 3km, but it was the British Paralympic champions who triumphed by less than a tenth of a second on the line.
Afterwards, Hall said:
“Obviously we’d have loved to have taken the title. We knew we were going well in training, but we didn’t quite pull out the performance we were hoping for.
“However, we came back fighting this evening, and we’re very happy to come away with bronze, because we really had to fight for that at the end. It’s bittersweet, but it’s positive because we now know what we’ve got to do ahead of next year.”
“To have four bikes go 3:30 or below has never been seen before, so that’s exciting – we’ve got a challenge on our hands and we know where the target is now. It’ll be fun to go away and work on going quicker!”
Steve Bate and Adam Duggleby also took their place in the bronze medal ride-off in the equivalent men’s event, but lost out to Dutch duo Tristan Bangma and Patrick Bos. The British pair had earlier recorded a time of 4:11.562 – the fourth fastest – in qualifying.
Katie Toft claimed second in the WC1 500m time trial – improving on her time from last year’s championships and registering a personal best to clock 47.099. She was beaten by China’s Li Jieli (43.830) who won gold.
There were hugely encouraging performances from both Louis Rolfe and Matthew Robertson in the fastest ever MC2 kilo event. Both British riders recorded personal best times, with Rolfe’s effort of 1:14.390 leading the way until the final stages, before it was beaten by Australian Gordon Allan, who finished second, and Colombia’s Alejandro Perea, who both rode new world records.
Rolfe finished fourth and Robertson, who posted 1:14.987, fifth.
Fin Graham – who, like Robertson, is making his track world championships debut – was equally as impressive in the MC3 kilo, producing a time of 1:09.999 to finish fifth.
Megan Giglia was just edged out of the medals in the WC3 500m time trial. The defending champion saw Australia’s eventual winner Paige Greco break her world record as she registered a time of 39.422, and – going last – Giglia was just unable to force her way on to the podium as she clocked 42.162.
Also taking place today were flying 200m races across all categories – test events which didn’t see world titles or rainbow jerseys awarded, but were part of omnium events which are also being trialled for para-cyclists at these championships.
Two British riders posted world record times: Matthew Robertson stopped the clock at 12.380 to finish top of the MC2 category, while Dame Sarah Storey posted a time of 12.090 in the WC5 event, only to see Dutch rival Caroline Groot go even quicker at 12.070.
Today’s medals add to the three gold and two silver which Great Britain picked up on day one of the championships, during which Jody Cundy won his 11th successive MC4 kilo title, and Kadeena Cox triumphed in the WC4 500m time trial on her return to the track world championships.
Competition continues tomorrow, when the tandem sprint duos take to the track for the first time and Dame Sarah Storey and Crystal Lane-Wright will battle for the WC5 pursuit title.