The final day of the UCI 2019 Para-Cycling Track World Championships in Apeldoorn, the Netherlands, promised to continue the pattern of success established by the great racing of many of the para-athletes so far in this edition. It didn’t fail to deliver on this promise.
The morning session was mostly dedicated to the qualifications and the quarter-finals of the Women’s and and Men’s B Sprint. The fastest eight Women’s teams were Great Britain (with the fastest time of 10.762” at the average speed of 66.90km/h), followed by the Netherlands, Australia, New Zealand, Belgium, USA, China and Poland. With this leading time, the duo of Sophie Thornhill and Helen Scott improved their own World Record, as set in Rio in 2018.
The quarter-finals saw Britain, the Netherlands and Australia each winning two consecutive races and qualifying straight to the semi-finals. Facing the British will be Belgium, who beat New Zealand only after the third and decisive race to progress to the next level.
The Men’s B Sprint qualifications yet again saw a Team GB team in the lead, with Matthew Rotherham and Neil Fachie establishing the fastest time in 9.778” at the average speed of 73.64km/h. The duo were followed by the second British team, then Poland, Greece, the Netherlands, Germany, Australia and Malaysia.
In the Men’s quarter-finals both the British and the Netherlands teams took three victories at two races to zero. Poland qualified directly due to the the German team pulling out, and will face Great Britain’s Peter Mitchell and James Ball in the semi-final.
In the Mixed Team Sprint qualification, the fastest time was scored by Team GB in 49.453”, who will face China in the Gold final. The Bronze final will see USA vs Australia.
The afternoon opened with the Men’s C3, C4 and C5 Scratch races, which would also define the positions for the Omnium - Test Events.
In the Men’s C3 Scratch, Gold went to the Australian David Nicholas, who took an advantage during the race and, even without lapping the rest of the contenders, won in style. Silver went to the American Joseph Berenyi and Bronze to the Russian Alexsey Obidennov. Thanks to this result, Berenyi finished first in the C3 Omnium Test Event, with the Spanish rider Eduardo Santas second and David Nicholas third.
The story of the Men’s C4 Scratch was the successful attack made by the duo of Colombia’s Diego Duenas and Ireland’s Ronan Grimes, who made the lap and finished in Gold and Silver positions respectively – while the Bronze went to the Russian Sergei Pudov. These results meant that the Omnium Test Event ended with the American Jason Macom first, Duenas second and Pudov third.
Diego Duenas said, of his gold performance: “It was a very hard race with many good athletes in the final. Winning this gold medal for Colombia is great, as well as wearing the Rainbow Jersey. This is a great result with Tokyo 2020 in mind. I will train at home as hard as I can for that.” Silver medallist Ronan Grimes said: “'I'm still in shock. I didn't even realise we had a gap until we had half a lap. Then with 10 laps to go, a medal was certain.”
In the final Scratch event, the Men’s C5, the 60-lap race saw a great battle, with a trio made of Australia’s Alistair Donohoe, Great Britain’s William Bjergfelt and the home favourite, Dutchman Daniel Abraham Gebru, lapping the field after 30 laps and earning Gold, Silver and Bronze respectively. The Omnium Test Event ended with Team GB’s Jonathan Gildea first, Ukraine Yehor Dementyev second and Lauro Cesar Mouro Chaman of Brazil in third.
Next came the Women’s and and Men’s B Sprint semi-finals. The Women’s semi-finals ended with straight victories for Team GB and Australia, who will be competing for Gold, while the Bronze final set up a battle of the near-neighbours: Belgium vs the Netherlands.
The Men’s final will be a Team GB affair, as both teams won two straight races to reach the Gold final, leaving the Bronze race to be settled by the Netherlands and Poland.
The Mixed Team Sprint saw an incredible China, at the time of 49,133” and at an average speed of 54.953km/h, winning Gold in the final versus the favourites Paralympic Champions Team GB. Bronze medal went to the USA, with Australia fourth.
In the Women’s B Sprint finals, the title holders Sophie Thornhill and Helen Scott successfully defended their title, winning consecutive races and securing Gold, with Australia’s Jessica Gallagher and Madison Janssen Silver. Bronze went to
the Netherlands, who won two consecutive races vs Belgium.
The Men’s B Sprint finals saw plenty of drama, with the all-British final for Gold seeing two victories for Matthew Rotherham and Neil Fachie, the second declared by the commissaires after an unfortunate solo crash when they were leading in the
final bend. James Ball and Peter Mitchell won Silver, while Bronze went to Poland, who beat the Netherlands in two straight races.
After the crash the World Champions commented: “We are OK, we have track rash and we know it will sting for a couple of days… but we are fine even if it does hurt right now! We were hungry to win today, we were a little bit disappointed after yesterday’s silver in the kilo. Fair play to them, but today we wanted to win badly and to prove that we are still the best in the World. Today, up until that crash, it went perfectly and we were very strong. I’m really proud of the way we’ve raced and how we bounced back.”
A dramatic finale for a fantastic edition of the 2019 UCI Para-Cycling Track World Championships, an edition to remember thanks to all the athletes that competed on the Apeldoorn velodrome in the Netherlands at their best.
📄 All results here
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