British Cycling's Ride of the Year 2011 - The Nominations:
Jon-Allan Butterworth smashes world record and wins kilo gold at his first worlds
What: UCI Para-Cycling Track World Championships
When: 12 March
Where: Montichiari, Italy
How it unfolded:
Emotions were already running high in the GB camp by the time Jon-Allan Butterworth launched into his C5 Kilo ride on the second day of the competition. The British team had already bagged 10 medals in Italy in performances that saw a number of young riders challenge their more experienced team mates for top podium positions.
Young Butterworth, who riders with his left prosthetic arm clipped into a socket fixed onto the handlebars, didn’t get off to the quickest start in the four lap time trial. But he clawed back time in a spectacular second lap and stayed consistently fast in the final two to place first early on in the competition. Not only that, the young Brit set a new world record of 1:07.615, making an impressive debut at his first UCI Para-Cycling Track World Championships.
Overwhelmed by the effort and scale of his achievement, Butterworth needed help off the bike. With 23 riders still to compete, the next hour proved an ordeal for ‘JAB’ and all in the GB pen as a number of nations come close. But not even Mark Bristow, reigning Paralympic Champion and holder of the World Record young Butterworth smashed an hour earlier, could match the young Brit’s time.
What Butterworth said:
“Winning the gold felt surreal. I had to wait for an hour before I was confirmed as World Champion which was really nerve racking, especially as I started the race quote slowly and only built up towards the end. A couple riders got close and a couple of them were up on my time half way round, so I was getting a bit panicky towards the end. My pace judgment was good and the last lap was a good lap and my legs felt all-right until I got off the bike.”
Why should this be the 2011 Ride of the Year?
‘JAB’ as he’s affectionately known by the team, is a 25 year old ex-RAF technician who lost his left arm in a rocket attack in Basra while on tour in Iraq in 2007. Inspired by the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games, he joined the GB Para-Cycling Team in 2009 via the Battle Back programme which helps wounded servicemen return to an active life.
Butterworth did not compete until 2010 and has made great progress in his relatively short time with squad. Just four years on from his life changing injury, Butterworth is not only a World Champion but a strong London 2012 hopeful with an inspiring story which has captured the imagination of the British public and for many embodies the essence of the Paralympic movement.
You can place your vote for British Cycling’s Ride of the Year 2011 here. Please note voting opens at 9am on 15 December once all the nominations have been revealed and closes at 5pm on 18 December 2011.