Nigel Barley is returning to Perth later this week after his last international races prior to departing for the London Paralympics. Racing in Italy, Spain and France against some of the fastest men in the world, Nigel Barley has sent a message to current World Champion, and reigning Paralympic medalists by taking out the UCI World Cup Time Trial in Spain.
Nigel’s tour started back at the end of May with a World Cup event in Italy. Still getting his body right after travelling, Nigel ran 4th in the Time Trial and 6th in the Road Race. His speeds were fast, but the rest of the field was faster.
A week later Nigel was in Switzerland for a round of European Handcycling Tour finishing third behind current World Champion Jeannott from France and Wilk from Poland. While Nigel and coach Jenni Banks were happy with the improvement in standings, his best was still yet to come.
As a part of the International Paracycling Tour, Nigel then raced in France and continued to improve, beating Jeannott in the Time Trial and finishing second behind him in the Road Race.
After a long tour, you could have excused Nigel for not performing in his 8th race in 4 weeks as the World Cup travelled to Spain. The field of riders was a strong as Nigel has ever raced against and you would expect very similar to the starting field of riders at the London Paralympic Games. Nigel peaked at the right time, putting in his best performance of the tour, taking out the Time Trial at an average speed of 41.62km/hr ahead of the top 3 ranked riders in the World.
Nigel’s speed in the Time Trial would have him in medal contention in almost any race around the world. His performance has signaled to the rest of the world that he is not to be underestimated at the London Games. Nigel went on to finish 4th in the Road Race the following day, but the message was well and truly received, Nigel Barley is a legitimate medal chance in London.
Image courtesy of PerthNow