The first day of the road races of the UCI Para-cycling Road World Championships, which took place from August 28th to September 1st at Greenville, USA, produced events filled with suspense and emotion. It was often only at the final sprint that the name of the new World Champion became known. However, the profile of the 10.2-kilometre circuit that the class C (adapted conventional bikes) and B (tandem) athletes had to ride between 5 to 10 times according to their class and category – covering a total distance of between 51 and 102 kilometres – was very tough. In ten cases out of twelve, the gap between first and the runner-up was less than, or exactly, one second.
Under the circumstances, it was the USA and Great Britain who were the most performant. The representatives of the host country of the event won three gold medals, with Allison Jones in class C2, Jamie Whitmore Cardenas (C3) and Shawn Morelli (C4). The British riders are hot on their heels with two titles, won by Sarah Storey (C5), already crowned after the class C5 time trial, and Lora Turnham (B).
Among the achievements of the day, we can mention the performances of the Irishman Eoghan Clifford in the C3 class, already also a gold-medal winner in the time trial. He finished almost two minutes ahead of the runner-up, a performance that only he and Sarah Storey had achieved on this day that was rather favourable to sprinters or other riders with top speeds. As for the Australian Alistair Donohoe, he became C5 World Champion for the first time, but only by a whisker. And he’s only 19 years old!
In the end, several countries were able to achieve some success. Twelve titles were at stake, and nine countries were crowned, out of 18 – from four continents – having finished on the podium. We should give a special mention to Germany, which won four medals (but only one title).
The World Championships in this discipline ended on Monday 1st September, with the road races for handbikes and tricycles from all categories: Men and Women, H1-5 and T1-2.
The races can be followed “live” on USParalympic.org
Complete results for the day
Para-cycling sport classes
C – Cyclist: conventional bike with some minor adaptations
T – Tricycle: three-wheeled bike
B – Blind: tandem
H – Handbike
Each group is divided into different sport classes depending on the severity of the handicap.