Eighteen of the world’s best Para-cycling athletes were crowned national champions on Friday as the 2018 FedUni Road National Championships continued in Ballarat.
On a warm day with little wind, Paralympic and world champions raced around the rural town of Cardigan with Rio gold medallists Carol Cooke AM (VIC) David Nicholas (QLD) doing the time trial and road race double.
“I’m happy with it, it was a pretty good course,” said Cooke. “I went off with the guys and the first half of the lap they were just going so fast and I just thought ‘this is crazy’ so I backed it off a bit. After that I just time trialled it into the finish. I’m happy it was a good ride.”
Cooke, who said the championships have been fabulous, took out the WT2 24 kilometre race in 48 minutes, a little over 9minutes ahead of silver medallist Gabrielle Vassallo (NSW).
Paralympic gold medallist Nicholas showed his class in the MC3 event, breaking away on lap two of five to win the 60km road race by nearly three minutes to Justin Godfrey (VIC). Mitchell Bails (SA) claimed the bronze medal.
“It feels awesome. It’s always good to have it in the bag,” he said.
Nicholas was also complimentary of the program change which has seen the Para-cycling nationals raced in Ballarat with the Road National Championships. “It’s very good, I think it’s very good for Para-cycling so that other people can see us racing. I’ve enjoyed it.”
In the men’s cycle (MC2), dual world championship silver medallist Darren Hicks (SA) took out his maiden road race national title.
“I’m over the moon. It’s something I’ve been wanting for a few years. It’s been on the top of my list,” said Hicks who took out the road and time trial silver medals at the world championships in Pietermaritzburg last year.
“After joining the national team last year, I felt like I had done a lot of the ground work but I didn’t really utilise it, so I’m really happy to come out with a win this year.”
Hicks finished almost 5 minutes ahead of second placed Gordon Allen and local Ballarat rider Ryan Spiteri.
South Australia’s Meg Lemon (SA) made amends for a missed opportunity in the time trial to take out the WC4 event, edging out Hannah MacDougall in a sprint to the line.
“It feels pretty good after yesterday, I was a bit disappointed losing [the time trial] by 1 second after a couple of mechanicals [but] coming back today feels pretty good,” said the 2017 world championship dual bronze medallist.
In the men’s H5 event, Paralympic time trial silver medallist Stuart Tripp (VIC) added the road race green and gold jersey to his time trial national title.
In other events, Simone Kennedy (NSW) sprinted to gold in the WC3 event, just pipping Page Greco (VIC) to the line.
Tasmanian Patrick Best out-sprinted World Championship medallist Kyle Bridgwood (QLD) for the MC4 national title, while Alistair Donohue claimed the green and gold jersey in the MC5 race.
WH1: Emilie MILLER (Bathurst)
MH3: Alexander WELSH (Leongatha)
Men Handcycle MH4: Grant ALLEN (Port Adelaide)
Men Handcycle MH5: Stuart TRIPP (St Kilda)
Men Tricycle MT1: Garry ROBINSON (Camden)
Women Tricycle WT2: Carol COOKE (St Kilda/VIS)
Men Tricycle MT2: Stuart JONES (Newcastle)
Women Cycle WC1: Kaitlyn Dawn SCHURMANN (Geelong)
Men Cycle MC1: Darcy THOMPSON (Port Adelaide)
Men Cycle MC2: Darren HICKS (Kilkenny)
Women Cycle WC3: Simone KENNEDY (Parramatta)
Men Cycle MC3: David NICHOLAS (Mackay
Women Cycle WC4: Meg LEMON (Port Adelaide)
Men Cycle MC4: Patrick BEST (Mersey Valley Devonport)
Women Cycle WC5: Fatema TAJBHAI (St Kilda)
Men Cycle MC5: Alistair DONOHOE (Blackburn)
Women WB: Lindy HOU: (Vikings ACT)
Men MB: Kieran MURPHY: (Norwood)
For the full list of results click here