Japan’s Keiko Sugiura won her second para-cycling gold of the UCI Cycling World Championships, while Great Britain continue to top the medal table
Last Thursday, Japan’s Keiko Sugiura won the first gold medal of the 2023 UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships, in the Women C3 individual pursuit. The 52-year-old, who became her country’s oldest-ever medallist at the Tokyo Paralympics in 2021, had shown no sign of letting up, beating Dutch rider Aniek van den Aarssen into second. In a carbon copy of that race, Sugiura once again beat the Dutch rider this evening in the Women C3 500m time trial. Canada’s Mel Pemble was briefly in the lead but had to settle for bronze.
In further action from the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome in Glasgow, Scotland (Great Britain), France’s Alexandre Léauté racked up his third medal, and second gold, as he rode to Men C2 1km time trial gold in a time of 1:09.947. His time saw the 22-year-old leapfrog Japan’s Shota Kawamoto. Australia’s Gordon Allan won bronze.
The sealing of Omnium titles
Léauté’s gold follows victory in the Men C2 individual pursuit earlier in the programme, meaning the Frenchman retains both the titles he won in Baie-Comeau, Canada, last year. He also took bronze earlier in the scratch race, which was won by countryman Florian Chapeau in Glasgow. Léauté’s consistency seeshim win gold in the multi-race MC2 omnium.
Another omnium winner is the Ukraine’s Yehor Dementyev, 36, who sealed victory in the multi-race event with victory in the Men C5 4km individual pursuit on Monday. In control from the start of the individual pursuit, he extended his three-second lead over Martin van de Pol (NED) at the halfway mark to just under five seconds by the finish line.
Other Omnium winners so far include Australian Amanda Reid (WC2), New Zealanders Nicole Murray (WC5) and Anna Grace Taylor (WC4), Spain’s Ricardo Ten Argiles (MC1), Great Britain’s Jaco van Gass (MC3) and Frenchman Kevin Le Cunff (MC4)
Petricola back to her best
“This year’s been about rebuilding. 2022 was not an awesome year for me physically. I got a back injury and had Covid, too. I struggled through the road and track UCI Worlds but, by then, my body had had enough from an MS (multiple sclerosis) perspective. So I took a solid break. I started building base from the end of the year and am slowly growing stronger.”
So Australia’s Emily Petricola told us earlier in the year. Fast-forward to the evening of Monday 7 August 2023 and the 43-year-old looked to be back to her fit and formidable best as she stormed victory in the women's C4 individual pursuit, the eighth track UCI World title of her glittering career. Canada’s Keely Shaw took silver while America’s Samantha Bosco won her second bronze medal of the Championships.
British tandem confirms
Great Britain’s Neil Fachie and pilot Matthew Rotherham showed the confidence that delivered them the Men B 1km time trial earlier as they powered to another gold medal in the Men B Sprint. They were never threatened by the German pairing of Thomas Ulbricht and Robert Förstemann as they took the final two-nil after averaging nearly 70km/hr from a standing start in both races. In the bronze match, France’s Raphael Beaugillet and Quentin Caleyron beat Australia’s Beau Wootton and Byron Davies after the Australians crashed in the final race of three and were unable to continue.
In the Women C5 Scratch Race, Australia’s Alana Forster delivered a masterful performance to take gold ahead of Italy’s Claudia Cretti in second and Colombia’s Paula Andrea Ossa Veloza in third.
BRIEF EXPLANATION OF PARA-CYCLING SPORT CLASSES FOR THE TRACK
C – Cycle: conventional bike with adaptations if necessary
B – Tandem: for blind or visually impaired athlete with sighted pilot
Group C (1-5) is divided into different sport classes, with the lower the number indicating greater impairment.