Windy conditions on Day 2 at UCI Para-cycling World Championships at Midmar

Strong winds and much cooler conditions greeted participants of today’s second day of the 2017 UCI Para-cycling Road World Championships, but this didn't seem to deter the Canadian Para-cycling Team, who had a magnificent start to the day when they claimed three medals – two gold and one silver – in the Men’s C-class races. It started with 21-year-old Michael Sametz’s medal-winning performance where he beat Benjamin Watson (GBR) and Colombian Esneider Munoz Marin by completing the 23.3-kilometre course in a time of 32 minutes 48.92 seconds.

The Alberta resident, racing in his third UCI World Championships, said that it was a hard race and he had put in a big effort, but that he was very happy with the result. Having participated in the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games, he said that he maintained his training routine in preparation for the UCI World Championships in Pietermaritzburg. “Road racing, in general, is my main discipline, but I do compete in a little bit of Time Trial as well. I’m looking forward to the road race and let’s see what happens there.”

Sametz’s compatriot, Tristen Chernove (42) doubled the gold-medal tally for the team, when he won his race on the 23.3km course in a time of 35:32.72, 16.44 seconds clear of second placed Darren HICKS (AUS), Peruvian Israel HILARIO RIMAS rounding out the podium.

Chernove has only been competing in Para-cycling races for two years, although having competed in cycling races extensively before he knew about Para-cycling. “My degenerative nerve disease continued to get worse, and then I heard about the Para-cycling team and joined the national team two years ago. It has always been my goal to be a UCI World Champion, so I am happy to claim the title today.”

Canadian Ross Wilson scored Canada’s third medal of the morning when he claimed silver in the Men’s C1 race. It was Germany’s Michael Teuber who won the 23.3km Men’s C1 race in a time of 35:29.66. The 49-year-old finished 28.21 seconds clear of Wilson, while American William Lister, who claimed the bronze medal, finished in a time of 37:02.31.

Competing in the Women’s C4 category, American Shawn Morelli held a three-minute lead over her competitors to secure the UCI World Championships Time Trial title. This is her seventh career title, having won three UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships, and two in the UCI Para-cycling Road World Championships. This is her second UCI Time Trial World Championships title.

The 41-year-old thoroughly enjoyed the hills on the route today, which is where she believes that she makes up her time advantage. Talking about her competition, she said, “I was worried about Raphaela (GER) as I had been looking at her times from the World Cups this year so I knew how I would fair against them today. I am proud of my gold medal today, and let’s see what the road race brings. It is a tough route with little opportunity to break away from the bunch.”

Morelli is part of the United Healthcare Women’s Pro Cycling Team, where she regularly competes against her able-bodied counterparts on the professional circuit. “I’m the only Para-cyclist on the team. It’s been a great experience for and they have pushed me to excel and to become a better racer. I race in the women’s pro field with the rest of the team, and I do okay there. I’m nowhere near a lead rider but I do okay in the team. It boosts my confidence by simply racing in the pro peloton with so many other women and gaining those bike handling skills, and of course being able to push myself more than I think I can on any given day with them.”

The Japanese Cycling Federation earned their first gold medal of the week when Keiko Noguchi won the Women’s C3 Time Trial in a time of 26:17.23 along the 15.5km distance. Coming from a triathlon background, Noguchi’s overall fitness and bike handling skills is what set her apart in the field, having only competed in Para-cycling for the past two years. “I really enjoyed my race today. I love the hills, that is where I am my strongest. I am ready to tackle the road race on Sunday,” she said.

Anna Beck from Sweden finished in second place only 02.96 seconds adrift, while German Denise Schindler rounded out the podium.

Colombia opened their medal tally today with three medals – one gold and two bronze – in the WC2, MC4 and the MC3 categories. Competing in her first UCI Para-cycling Road World Championships, Daniela Florez added today’s gold medal to her medal collection, where she has been awarded on the track and on the road as well. She spoke about the inspiration of countryman Nairo Quintana and the effect he has had on Colombian cycling. “He is a great inspiration because he shows you that you need to work very hard every day to achieve your dreams.”

Compatriot Esneider Marin (MC3), was elated with his bronze medal. “This is my second career medal,” he said. My first medal was on the track. This is my first UCI World Championships. I prefer the road racing because it makes me feel free.”

Diego Gomez earned Colombia’s third medal in the afternoon session when he finished third in the Men’s C4 Time Trial over a distance of 31.0km. It was Jozef Metelka (SVK) who stood atop the podium. The 2017 UCI Para-cycling Road World Cup Series winner also adds the UCI World Championships rainbow jersey to his list of accolades this year.

Polish competitor Anna Harkowska won the Women’s C5 race in a time of 36:39.63.

Also in the afternoon session, Marcin Polak and Michal Ladosz (POL) had a 03.69 second time victory to claim the gold medal in the Men’s Visually Impaired category tandem race, with Briton’s Stephen Bate and Adam Duggleby finishing second, and Dutchmen Vincent Ter Schure and Timo Fransen finishing third.

Katie-George Dunlevy and Eve McCrystal had the luck of the Irish with them when they piloted their tandem cycle to victory in the Women’s Visually Impaired category. They completed the 31.0km route in a time of 45:40.57, 05.45 seconds clear of second placed riders Lora Fachie and Corrine Hall (GBR), while Iwona Podkoscielna and Aleksandra Teclaw (POL) rounded out the podium.

In the Men’s C5 Time Trial, the penultimate event of the day, Daniel Gebru from The Netherlands claimed victory in a time of 41:07.98 along the 31.0km route. Ukrainian Yehor Dementyev and Brazilian Lauro Chaman finished second and third respectively.

Racing continues tomorrow at Alexandra Park in Pietermaritzburg for the first day of the Road Races. Racing begins at 08:00.

Summary of Results – 2017 UCI Para-cycling Road World Championships Pietermaritzburg

Friday 1 September: Session 3

Men C3 Time Trial 23.3km

  1. Michael SAMETZ (CAN) 1996 32:48.92
  2. Benjamin WATSON (GBR) 1989 33:26.11 +00:37.19
  3. Esneider MUNOZ MARIN MC3 (COL) 1988 34:18.19 +01:29.27

Men C2 Time Trial 23.3km

  1. Tristen CHERNOVE (CAN) 35:32.72
  2. Darren HICKS (AUS) 35:49.16 +00:16.44
  3. Israel HILARIO RIMAS (PER) 35:50.96 +00:18.24

Men C1 Time Trial 23.3km

  1. Michael TEUBER (GER) 35:29.66
  2. Ross WILSON (CAN) 35:57.87 +00:28.21
  3. William LISTER (USA) 37:02.31 +01:32.65

Women C5 Time Trial 23.3km

  1. Anna HARKOWSKA (POL) 36:39.63
  2. Samantha BOSCO (USA) 36:49.97 +00:10.34
  3. Kerstin BRACHTENDORF (GER) 36:52.63 +00:13.00

Women C4 Time Trial 23.3km

  1. Shawn MORELLI (USA) 36:48.39
  2. Raphaela Maria EGGERT (GER) 40:03.52 +03:15.13
  3. Meg LEMON (AUS) 40:12.06 +03:23.67

Women C3 Time Trial 15.5km

  1. Keiko NOGUCHI (JPN) 26:17.23
  2. Anna BECK (SWE) 26:20.19 +00:02.96
  3. Denise SCHINDLER (GER) 26:24.89 +00:07.66

Women C2 Time Trial 15.5km

  1. Daniela Carolina MUNEVAR FLOREZ (COL) 27:57.61
  2. Alyda NORBRUIS (NED) 28:28.93 +00:31.32
  3. Allison JONES (USA) 28:29.86 +00:32.25

Friday 1 September: Session 4

Men B 31.0km

  1. Marcin POLAK & Michal LADOSZ (POL) 39:17.24
  2. Stephen BATE & Adam DUGGLEBY (GBR) 39:20.93 +00:03.69
  3. Vincent TER SCHURE & Timo FRANSEN (NED) 40:00.59 +00:43.35

Women’s B 31.0km

  1. Katie-George DUNLEVY & Eve MCCRYSTAL (IRE) 45:40.57
  2. Lora FACHIE & Corrine HALL (GBR) 45:46.02 +00:05.45
  3. Iwona PODKOSCIELNA & Aleksandra TECLAW (POL) 47:02.75 +01:22.18

Men C5 Time Trial 31.0km

  1. Daniel ABRAHAM GEBRU (NED) 41:07.98
  2. Yehor DEMENTYEV (UKR) 41:17.23 +00:09.25
  3. Lauro Cesar CHAMAN (BRA) 41:44.23 +00:36.25

Men C4 31.0km

  1. Jozef METELKA (SVK) 42:11.02
  2. Kyle BRIDGWOOD (AUS) 42:23.08 +00:12.06
  3. Diego German DUENAS GOMEZ (COL) 43:46.44 +01:35.42

ENDS