South African Olympian Para-cyclist Roxy Burns ended off her 2013 cycling season on a high note when she scooped a gold and a bronze medal at the recent P1 Track event held at the Newport Velodrome in Wales, from 29 November to 1 December.
In a year when it seemed there would be no UCI Para-cycling track competitions, British Cycling very generously hosted a P1 event at the Newport Velodrome in Wales over the period 29 November to 1 December 2013. A greatly relieved international Para-cycling community grasped the opportunity that this provided and used the event as a competition in lieu of a 2013 World Championships that failed to materialise. In this situation, the P1 competition assumed the proportions of an event of considerably greater status, with riders from around the world determined to establish themselves as best-in-class for 2013.
South Africa entered a two-rider team, including C5 men’s rider Dane Wilson and C4 women’s rider Roxy Burns. Both riders were selected for the team on the basis of their 2013 World Championship qualifying performances in this year’s South African track national championships.
In a format for the time trial event that was similar to the 2012 Paralympic Games, the Newport competition saw combinations of riders from different classes competing against one another, with factors applied to level the playing field between classes. The pursuit event was organised per individual classes.
In the 4km pursuit, Wilson finished 3rd in his qualification heat and a very impressive 4th in the final. Importantly, Wilson’s performance was a personal best for this (his specialist) event, which has given him the confidence to establish himself as a pursuit medal contender for 2014. Although Wilson was the 3rd fastest C5 rider in the time trial event, the factoring that was applied resulted in him finishing in 8th position. Rounding off his performance at Newport was his 5th place finish in the very competitive scratch race.
Burns continued where she left off after her very successful 2013 road racing season, when she won the C4 women’s World Cup series championship, by claiming a bronze medal in the combined C4 and C5 women’s time trial and a gold medal finish in the 3 km pursuit event. These achievements are expected to position her as the UCI 1st ranked C4 woman for track cycling in 2013, a position she previously claimed in 2009.
Concluding a very successful 2013 season for South African Para-cycling, Wilson and Burns can be very proud of their performances.