Paracycling Worlds – Day 3


Jennifer Bennett looks back at Day 3 of the Paracycling World Track Championships in Italy where there was more Gold for the Great Britain team

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Paracycling Worlds – Day 3

by Jennifer Bennett

Day 3 of the Paracycling Track World’s was a day that held a little bit of something for everyone with both the sprinters and endurance racing on the boards.

The morning session consisted of Women’s C4-5 3K pursuit qualifying followed by the men’s C4-5 4K pursuit qualifications. Liz Saul would start day three off for Team GB in the C4 3K pursuit with a huge personal best of 4:26:95 but her time would not qualify her for the afternoon medal rounds after finishing in 9th. Fastest time was set by Shawn Morelli (USA) of 3:56:95 the current World Champion.

The C5 women followed with a large and competitive field that included the Chinese women who have hardly been seen in racing until recently and are always formidable. Dame Sarah Storey, (defending World Champion) and Crystal Lane would be representing the British squad.


Crystal Lane went early in the heats and posted a 3:54:92 to put her in 1st with 7 heats remaining. Dame Sarah Storey would face an unexpected opponent in the form of an asthma attack virtually on the start line but despite the challenge, in just the first two laps, Sarah had the fastest time by over 3 seconds. As she crossed the line, she would be over 11 seconds ahead of her nearest competitor, Zhou from China.

Sarah’s time of 3:38:75 secured a gold medal final over Zhou of China who posted a 3:51:50. Crystal Lane would remain in the bronze medal final in 4th facing Harowska (POL) who was 3rd.

The Mens C4 4K pursuits saw the team’s Jaco Van Gass ride a great personal best of over 6 seconds of 4:48:82 but would not be enough for the finals finishing 8th. The C4 category was won by Metelka (SLO) with a 4:26:92 which was also a new World Record.


Sarah Storey with her Silver medal from the Scratch race

In the men’s C5 division there were sure to be some fast times with several Australians repeatedly posting impressive times at recent races. Jon Gildea would ride in the first heat and post a time of 4:40:81 which put him in contention for the bronze medal final. Gildea would hold the spot until the final 2 heats and end up placed in 7th. The C5 category would have an all Australian gold medal final with the fastest time set by Donohoe 4:27:11.

With what seemed like an all too short lunch break, it was a spectacular Spring day in Lombardia and saw many enjoying a lunch on the lawn in the sun. The athletes were back to heating up the Velodrome with what would be a very prosperous afternoon for Team GB.

The Women’s C5 3K pursuit finals had Crystal Lane vs. Harkowsko (POL) up first. Crystal rode well but Harkowsko took the final and Crystal would not add another bronze to her world championship quest finishing 4th.


The much anticipated final of Dame Sarah Storey amd Zhou (China) brought a round of cheers to the start. With Sarahs undefeated record and 10 golden years of dominance the crowd knew that the privilege to watch such an athlete does not come along too often and they were ready to savour the 3Ks of magic. Not to disappoint, Sarah quickly took the lead and caught her opponent in 5 laps adding another World Championship jersey to what must be a crowded wardrobe.

Things were about to get fast, very fast with the Men’s and Women’s Tandem 1K TT’s. The defending champions, Sophie Thornhill and Helen Scott would be in the last heat but first for the GB squad would be Corrine Hall and Lora Turnham fresh off their first ever medal at a track world championships, a bronze in the 3K pursuit.

Hall and Turnham posted a 1:11:00 to put them in 4th which is very respectable for the endurance tandem pair and a new speed standard for them. The Dutch pair were 2nd to last before Scott and Thornhill and posted the new fastest time of 1:06:07.



Anticipation rose as Scott and Thornhill took to the line and the times were neck and neck until the last lap with Scott and Thornhill just missing the championship repeat with a time of 1:07:48 giving them the silver.

Again a British tandem would be the defending champions in the Men’s 1K TT but the squad would have 3 tandems in the race with Craig MacLean and James Ball and a third tandem of Adam Duggleby and Steve Bate. First up for the trio of tandems was MacLean and Ball posting a time of 1:02:20. Followed by Duggleby and Bare with a time of 1:05:07.


The defending Champions were to go last as again the crowd greeted them with cheers and ovations ready to see something very special. Pete Mitchell and Neil Fache set a new sea level best that they had not broken since London with a time of 1:00:63. Another World Championship on the day for Team GB! MacLean and Ball would finish 5th and Duggleby and Bate 14th.

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Rounding out the day, the C4-5 scratch race qualifying races would have the team’s Jaco Van Gass back in action in heat 1 and Jon Gildea in heat 2. Jaco rode a smart and attentive race staying mainly at the front to ensure a spot in the following days final. The same followed for heat 2 and Gildea crossed the line ensuring the pair would be one of the few countries to have numbers in the scratch race on Sunday.

As a packed day come to a close with 2 more World Championships and a silver medal, Great Britain would take over the top spot of the medal total leader board from China.




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