As on the previous day, Sarah Storey finished with a gold medal around her neck.
The 36-year-old British girl – one of the outstanding riders in these Championships – triumphed in the scratch ahead of the Argentinian rider Mariela Analia Delgado. Storey thus came away, after four days of competition, with two wins (the 3km Pursuit and Scratch) and a bronze medal (in the 500m).
The anthem of God Save the Queen set the tempo for this final day, with the successes in the tandems of Sophie Thornhill and Rachel James in the Women, and Neil Fachie and Peter Mitchell in the Men.
Following on from the 2012 London Paralympic Games, Team GB and its 11 representatives logically finished these Championships in 2nd place in the country rankings, with 10 medals, of which 7 were gold.
Watch Sarah Storey in action
It was Australia, featuring Susan Powell, that came top, with 17 medals including 5 wins. China – featuring Zhou Jufang – took third place with 10 medals, including 4 rainbow jerseys, with the USA team of Allison Jones finishing just short of the podium (9 and 2).
23 new world records
Mexico, the host country, didn’t succeed in winning a medal, but the representatives of the Pan-American Cycling Confederation nevertheless performed well. In addition to the USA, Argentina (3 and 2), Canada (2) and Brazil (1) stepped on to the podium, even though they were not on the highest step, except in the case of the Brazilian Soelito Gohr in the Men Scratch on Sunday. Although the traditionally dominant countries all performed well at this crucial rendez-vous – at the halfway point between London and Rio 2016 – it is noteworthy that 18 countries shared the 83 medals, with 11 of them sharing 29 victories.
The outstanding performances delighted the crowds, who had come in droves to the Aguascalientes Bicentenary Velodrome, reputed to be ultra-fast. No less than 23 world records were broken during these four days. The President of the UCI Para-cycling Commission, also member of the UCI Management Committee, Mohamed Belmahi, remarked: “These World Championships have been a success both in terms of performances of the athletes. All the favourites were present, and the emerging countries achieved excellent results. The Mexican audiences were able to appreciate the increasingly demanding level of para-cycling, which is more and more popular across the world.”
Photo: Inspiring pair Matt Formston / Michael Curran bringing Australia on top of the nations rankings with 17 medals in Aguascalientes Worlds
She was able to give her little girl Louisa a kiss because this time she was on the highest step of the podium of the 2014 UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships.
Sarah Storey triumphed in the 3km Pursuit in the C5 category ahead of the Polish rider Anna Harkowska, and in style, since she won in a new world-record time of 3:32:050. A great come-back for the Brit, who had to be content with third place two days earlier in the 500m sprint event, with the Chinese rider Jufanj Zhou winning gold.
It was above all an impressive feat for this 36-year-old athlete, who was back in competition after a break of 18 months. She celebrated by taking little Louisa onto the podium with her, having returned to her previous level of performance, and clearly determined – two years away from the Olympic Games in Rio – to add to her 11 paralympic medals.
Her British counterpart Jody Curdy also saw the Union Jack raised after her success in the kilometre in the C4 category.
There was a twin success for Australia in the endurance events, with the victories of Jayme Richardson in the 3km C1, and Suzan Powell in the C4, having got the better of her fellow countrywoman Alexandra Green.
Lopez and Obidennov repeat their successes
In the continuing extreme heat, which had temporarily knocked out the course commissaires’ computers, the Bicentenary Velodrome in Aguascalientes once again delighted in the accomplishments of the para-cycling athletes, with Rodrigo Fernand Lopez adding another victory to his record. Twenty-four hours after having triumphed in the 3km Pursuit in C1, the Argentinian rider won the kilometre race, ahead of the Dutch rider Arnoud Nighuis. The Mexican crowd was thus able to celebrate a new victory by a South American athlete.
There was also a pair of medals for the Russian rider Alexey Obydennov, winner of the “kilo” in the C3 category – in a 100% Russian final – after his success of the previous day in the Pursuit.
The 2014 UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships will come to an end today, featuring speed events for the mixed-relay teams, and the scratch. Photo: Sarah Storey from Great Britain celebrating her title on the kilo with her daughter Louisa
Para-cycling sport classes C – Cyclist: conventional bike with some minor adaptations B – Blind: tandem
Following on from the first day, Australia came out as the victor, with Michael Gallagher triumphing in the MC5 4km Pursuit category against the Ukrainian Yehor Dementiev in a record time of 4:24:057. The Aussie riders also excelled in the sprint events, with Brandie O’Connor and Breama Hargrave winning silver in the WB 1km, and an equivalent achievement in the Men’s event, with Kieran Modra and Jason Niblett, who made the second step of the podium.
It was also an excellent day for British para-cycling, with the victories – as expected – of the duo of Sophie Thornhill and Rachel James (WB 1km) in a new record time of 1:05:912, and of their male team-mates – Neil Fachie and Peter Mitchell – (59:460). The Team GB riders are truly the crème de la crème in the category of “fastest kilometre”.
The Argentinian Lopez wins a first gold medal for the South American continent
The Pursuit saw several countries win gold, or at least reach the podium, a sign that para-cycling is becoming increasingly international. To the delight of the fans in the Aguascalientes Bicentenary Velodrome, the Argentinian Rodrigo Fernand Lopez triumphed in the MC1 3km Pursuit, thus recording a first victory for South America. With the Spanish rider Juan José Mendez getting silver, the Mexican crowd was able to applaud a 100% Latin podium.
As an indicator of the globalisation of the discipline, the Slovak Jozef Metelka won in the MC4 4km Pursuit, the Chinese rider Guihua Liang in the MC2 3km, and the Russian Alexei Obidennov in the MC3 3km. The championships are continuing until Sunday.
Catch up with the highlights of these World Championships on the UCI YouTube channel. Competition schedule
Para-cycling sport classes C – Cyclist: conventional bike with some minor adaptations B – Blind: tandem Photo: jubilant Alexey Obydennov from Russia reacting to his gold medal awarded by UCI MC member Jose Manuel Pelaez on the MC3 3km Pursuit event
Temperatures soared to near 40°C yesterday in Aguascalientes at the heart of Mexico and the first day’s competitions at the 2014 UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships were just as hot!
After a colourful opening ceremony, with the UCI represented by José Manuel Pelaez, Member of the Management Committee and President of the Pan-American Cycling Confederation, both men and women were on top form for the first major competition since the 2012 London Paralympic Games, with the 2016 Rio games two years away.
The New Zealand duo Emma Foy and Laura Fairweather won the 3km pursuit ahead of the other kiwi pair, Phillipa Gray and Kylie Young. Foy and Fairweather set a new record of 3:23:328, beating the previous best by 8 seconds. The New Zealand team ended the day with three medals, with Kate Horan taking silver in the Women’s C4 500m. The endurance events were dominated by athletes from the southern hemisphere with Australians Matt Formston and Michael Curran taking the 4km pursuit, ahead of Spaniards Avila Rodriguez and Font Bertoli.
Storey comes back to claim bronze
The sprint events were also held on Thursday in the Aguascalientes Bicentenary Velodrome at an altitude of 1800m. Jufanj Zhou took victory in the WC5 category in a lightning quick 36:379, followed by American Jennifer Schuble and Briton Sarah Storey. Storey, the reigning Champion from Los Angeles in 2012, was making her comeback after the birth of her daughter, Louisa. Another Chinese athlete, Jianping Ruan, dominated the WC4 category sprint in a record time of 37:879.
Apart from Schuble’s silver, the Americans won WC3 gold with Jamie Whitmore , WC2 silver with Allison Jones, just back from the Sotchi Paralympic Games, and bronze with the duo Clark Rachfal and David Swanson in the 4km pursuit. The championships continue until Sunday.
Watch World Championship highlights on UCI YouTube channel. Competition schedule Para-cycling sport classes C – Cyclist: conventional bike with some minor adaptations B – Blind: tandem
Photo: WC5 500m podium with Jennifer Schuble (USA), Jufang Zhou (CHN) and Sarah Storey (GBR) from left to right
Four months after the UCI Track Cycling World Cup, it is the turn of the best para-cyclists on the planet to battle for world titles.
Competition gets underway Thursday (April 10) and runs through until Sunday (April 13) at the Bicentenary velodrome in Aguascalientes. A regular host of major international track competitions, the complex built in the state at the heart of the country also organised the National Para-athletics Championships in 2013.
Numerous Paralympic medallists and World Champions are among the 122 registered athletes from 28 nations who will vie for the 29 titles up for grabs. The United States, Australia and Great Britain have entered major contingents and are favourites, as they were in 2012 at the London Paralympic Games and the Los Angeles World Championships.
The British will rely on Sarah Storey, Paralympic and World Champion in the C5 category, and on Jon-Allan Butterworth (also C5), World Champion and world record holder in the kilometre. The Australians will not be daunted, and among others will be counting on Kieran Modra (B), triple Paralympic Champion in the 4km individual pursuit. In Mexico he will race the sprint and time trial with pilot Jason Niblett. The United States team includes six riders who returned from the last Para-cycling Road World Championships in Baie-Comeau, Canada, with gold medals. Among them is Allison Jones who also competed in the ski competitions at the recent Sochi Paralympic Games.
Records could fall during the four days of competition which take place at an altitude of 1880. The UCI Track Cycling World Cup in Aguascalientes in February saw athletes lower no fewer than seven world records. Watch the highlights of the competition every day on the UCI YouTube channel
Para-cycling sport classes C – Cyclist: conventional bike with some minor adaptations B – Blind: tandem
Photo: Nathan Smith, from New Zealand, about to be caught by Darren Kenny, from Great Britain, during the C3’s pursuit qualification round at 2011 Montichiari Worlds, Italy
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