Para-cyclists outdid themselves, Wednesday, in Pontal, where the first road racing events of the Paralympic Games began. On this, the first day of road events, no less than 18 Time Trial titles were at play. Numerous athletes were able to become acquainted with the podium yet again, after having won medals during track events.
One such athlete was Great Britain’s Sarah Storey (C5), who earned the 13th Paralympic title of her illustrious career. The 38 year-old athlete had earlier won the gold medal in the track Pursuit event, and completed today’s road Time Trial in 27 minutes 22.42 seconds. Poland’s Anna Harkowska (+ 1 minutes 30.37 seconds), a silver medallist at the London 2012 Paralympic Games, once again took the silver. American Samantha Bosco (+ 1 minute 42.24 seconds) won the bronze.
In C4, American Shawn Morelli (29 minutes 45.40 seconds) posted a second victory in Rio. Teammate Megan Fisher (+ 30.32 seconds), reigning Paralympic Champion, had to settle for the silver medal. Australia’s Susan Powell (+ 33.89 seconds) finished in third place.
The Netherlands’ Alyda Norbruis also earned her second title and third medal of the Rio Games, with a win in the C1-2-3 in 30 minutes 50.54 seconds. As was the case in 2012, Germany’s Denise Schindler (+ 32.48 seconds) took the silver medal. China’s Sini Zeng(+ 54.91 s) finished third.
Team Great Britain’s Lora Turnham and Corrine Hall, Track Tandem Pursuit Champions, snagged the bronze medal, finishing +34.59 seconds behind Irish duo Katie George Dunlevy and Evelyn McCrystal, who won the event in a time of 38 minutes 59.22 seconds. Japan’s Yurie Kanuma and Mai Tanaka (+ 33.70 seconds) earned silver.
Dementyev, Metelka, and Bate Strike Again!
Yehor Dementyev defended his Paralympic title successfully in the C5 category. Already a gold medallist courtesy a great performance in the track Pursuit event, the Ukrainian crossed the finish line in 36 minutes 53.23 seconds. Australia’s Alistair Donohoe (+ 40.13 seconds) won the silver medal and Brazil’s Lauro Cesar Chaman (+ 44.20 seconds), won the bronze.
Jozef Metelka (C4) also revisited the podium with his second victory and third medal of the Games. With a time of 37 minutes 52.84 seconds, the Slovakian para-cyclist got to the line faster than Australia’s Kyle Bridgwood (+ 30.37 seconds), as well as the latter’s teammate Patrick Kuril (+ 1 minute 14.71 seconds).
In Men’s Tandem racing, Team Great Britain’s Steve Bate and Adam Duggleby won their second title of the Games with a time of 34 minutes 35.33 seconds. The Netherlands’ Vincent Ter Schure and Timo Fransen (+ 8.83 seconds) as well as Australia’s Kieran Modra and David Edwards (+ 33.73 s) rounded out the podium.
Canada’s Tristen Chernove (C2) earned his third medal and first gold in Rio with a time of 27 minutes 43.16 seconds. Ireland’s Colin Lynch (+ 19.09 seconds) came in after the Canuck, but ahead of London 2012 Games silver medallist China’s Liang Guihua (+ 34.61 seconds).
In C3, Irish para-cyclist Eoghan Clifford grabbed his second medal in Rio with a win in 38 minutes 21.79 seconds. Japan’s Masaki Fujita (+1 minute 08.62 seconds), and Canada’s Michael Sametz (+ 1 minute 19.49 seconds) finished second and third, respectively.
Other athletes made an impressive first appearance at the Rio Games. That was certainly the case with Michael Teuber: current World and Paralympic Champion in the C1 class, the German had a fantastic win in a time of 27 minutes 53.98 seconds. Canada’s Ross Wilson (+53.36 seconds) and Italy’s Giancarlo Masini (+ 53.85 seconds) rounded out the podium.
Two-time gold medallist at the London 2012 Paralympic Games, Italian Alessandro Zanardi (28 minutes 36.81 seconds) grabbed a win in the H5 category ahead of Australia’s Stuart Tripp (+ 2.74 seconds) and American Oscar Sanchez (+ 14.91 seconds).
Favoured to win the H4 class, Poland’s Rafal Wilk did not disappoint, earning the third Paralympic title of his career thanks to a time of 27 minutes 39.31 seconds. Team Austria’s Thomas Fruhwirth (+ 10 seconds) and Germany’s Vico Merklein (+ 1 minute 03.03 seconds) came in second and third, respectively.
Team Italy’s Vittorio Podesta (28 minutes 19.45 seconds) dominated in the H3 class. Two-time Road World Champion in 2015 and twice a gold medallist in London, Podesta bested Austria’s Walter Ablinger (+ 1 minute 06.56 seconds) and Canada’s Charles Moreau (+ 1 minute 07.46 seconds).
Podesta’s teammate Luca Mazzone (32 minutes 07.09 seconds) - who won every race he started in the last UCI Para-cycling Road World Championships - once more demonstrated mastery over his adversaries. Americans William Groulx (+ 6 minutes 03 seconds), and Brian Sheridan (+ 1 min 32.65 seconds) accompanied the Italian to the podium.
In T1-2, Germany’s Hans-Peter Durst (22 minutes 57.34 seconds) earned his first Paralympic title. American Ryan Boyle (+ 1 min 24.01 seconds) finished second, while Team Great Britain’s David Stone (+ 1 min 44.91 seconds) came in for third.
A First Paralympic Victory for Vieth
In H4-5, Team Germany’s Dorothee Vieth won in a time of 31 minutes 35.46 seconds; this Paralympic title is a career-first for 55 year-old Vieth, who is a five-time Paralympic medallist. Germany’s Andrea Eskau (+ 39.96 seconds) and the Netherlands’ Laura De Vaan (+ 1 minute 27.46 seconds) took the silver and bronze medals, respectively.
In H1-2-3, Germany’s Karen Darke snapped up victory thanks to a time of 33 minutes 44.93 seconds. Darke bettered American Alicia Dana (+ 12.55 seconds) and Italy’s Francesca Porcellato (+ 35.55 seconds).
Lastly, Australia’s Carol Cooke (26 minutes 11.40 seconds) retained her Paralympic title in the T1-2 class. American Jill Walsh (+ 38.27 seconds) and Canadian Shelley Gautier (+ 39.47 seconds) rounded out the podium.
Para-cycling sport classes:
H - Handbike
T - Tricycle
C - Conventional bike with some adaptations
B - Tandem (blind or visual impaired)