UCI Para-cycling Road World Cup : Zanardi and the favourites celebrate wins in Segovia
A total of 379 athletes (including 48 tandem pilots) from 38 nations competed in Castile & Leon from July 25th to 27th , braving soaring temperatures that already reached 30 degrees in the morning. Germany topped the medals table (17) followed by the United States (15) and Italy (11). Host country Spain was fourth in the table with 11 medals.
Most of the favourites lived up to expectations, such as Great Britain’s Laura Turnham (B), American Shawn Morelli (C4), Canadians Shelley Gautier (T1) and Marie-Eve Croteau (T2) as well as Spain’s Ignacio Avila and Joan Font (B). Alessandro Zanardi (H5) was yet another favourite who took the overall World Cup win in Spain. However, unlike in Italy when the 47-year-old Italian won both the time trial and the road race, Zanardi did not totally dominate proceedings in Segovia. Only 3rd in the time trial on Spanish soil (won by Dutch athlete Tim De Vries), the Italian claimed victory in the road race to ensure his overall win. “I wasn’t happy with the time trial but I made up for it afterwards,” said the former F1 pilot.
The double Paralympic Champion in 2012 had to battle to the end to win the road race. He made the difference at the top of the final 800m climb where he was lying in 4th place before his attack. “The overall level is getting higher and higher,” he said. “It gives us an idea of what it will be like at the World Championships.”
The 2014 UCI Para-cycling Road World Championships will take place in Greenville (USA) from August 20th to September 1st.
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.
Photo : the Spanish tandem Igancio Avila and Juan Font (B), victorious in the time trial and the road race in Segovia.