Medals for tri-cyclists in Rome

South Africa’s Tri-cyclists have achieved great success at the start of the 2012 UCI Para-cycling Road World Cup in the Time Trial events in Rome, Italy on Friday 25th May.

Para-cyclists were treated to a warm and sunny day along the 4.7km course, with racing that started as early as 9am – the heat only relenting at the end of the afternoon.

The team settled in nicely in Rome earlier in the week, even without one of the tricycles, which seemed to go missing en route to Rome in Istanbul.

The road race route was found to be unbelievably challenging in the form of sharp turns coinciding with sudden gradient changes, including three or four hairpin turns. Concentration was key if the athletes were to safely finish the race, especially since the road surface was mostly poor.

Pre Time Trial preparations took place at a different location at Ostia, about 30km outside Rome central, at the beach so as not to risk any training issues on the route.

Friday’s TT racing proved spectacular for our tri-cyclists as Gerhard Viljoen and Madre Carinus found themselves on the podium to collect their silver and bronze medals respectively. Viljoen’s second place was just 18 seconds off the gold medal! The men and women’s Tricycle TT covered a distance of 9.4km on 2 laps of the course.

Handcyclist Stuart McCreadie (H2) was looking good and in fine shape during his challenge in the TT, positioned to finish with a bronze medal until the final lap of three, when he rounded the second last corner too fast and rolled his bike. McCreadie’s split time was 25 seconds off Italian H2 winner Podesta, and the final results saw bronze medallist Ablinger finish 33.01 seconds off the pace! The crash resulted in a few cuts and scrapes for McCreadie but it was the lost minutes that hurt so much more.

Ernst van Dyk finished sixth in his 3-lap, 14.1km H4 category, in a race where Italian Allesandro Zanardi claimed gold ahead of World Champion Oscar Sanchez.

Today, Van Dyk and McCreadie prepare for their road race that takes place this afternoon.

Summary of Results – 2012 UCI Para-cycling Road World Cup – TT

Women's T2 Time Trial – 9.4km – 25.05.2012

1 Marie-Eve Croteau (CAN) 17'43.05
2 Lisette De Heide (NED) 19'51.33 +2'08.28
3 Madre Carinus (RSA) 20'57.57 +3'14.5

Men's T2 Time Trial – 9.4km – 25.05.2012

1 Giorgio Farroni (ITA) 16'30.98
2 Gerhard Viljoen (RSA) 16'49.49 +18.51
3 Steven Peace (USA) 16'58.25 +27.27

Men's H2 Time Trial – 14.1km – 25.05.2012

1 Vittorio Podesta (ITA) 21'12.80
2 Jean-Marc Berset (SUI) 21'16.75 +3.95
3 Walter Ablinger (AUT) 21'45.81 +33.01
19 Stuart McCreadie (RSA) 24'21.31 +3'08.51

Men's H4 Time Trial – 14.1km – 25.05.2012

1 Alessandro Zanardi (ITA) 20'54.72
2 Oscar Sanchez (USA) 21'08.10 +13.38
3 Norbert Mosandl (GER) 22'22.23 +1'27.51
6 Ernst Van Dyk (RSA) 22'50.32 +1'55.60

Photo: Tom Paulsen