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Para-cyclists begin Games preparation at Nationals time trial

Paralympic Games preparations for Australia’s para-cyclists have begun in earnest today with the running of the time trial national championships at the Federation University RoadNats Ballarat.


Paralympic medallists Lauren Parker, Emily Petricola, Paige Greco, Darren Hicks, Alistair Donohoe and Kyle Bridgwood got their year off to a strong start by winning their national titles.


Para-cyclists celebrate with a champagne spray at the 2024 Federation University Road National Championships in Ballarat
Photo: Josh Chadwick

Ballarat riders Alana Forster and William Zammit were crowned Australian champions on the local roads around Federation University’s Mt Helen campus.


The morning events also included time trials for athletes with intellectual impairments, which incorporated the opening round of the 2024 Virtus Cycling World Series. Montana Whiteley won the women’s event while France’s Louis Fuhrmann was the fastest of the men, with Cameron Marshall defending his national title.


This was Parker’s first appearance in the world champion’s rainbow jersey, which she won in Glasgow last year. The multi-sport talent has previously stated her goal of qualifying for the Paris Paralympic Games in both para-cycling and para-triathlon.


Lauren Parker handcyclist para-cyclist at the Federation University Road National Championships
Lauren Parker begins her Paris 2024 lead-up at Road Nationals. (Con Chronis)

“This is the first race of the season for 2024, so it’s a really good race to have a good hit-out,” Parker said.


“I always love coming to Nationals here in Ballarat. It’s such a good event. I was happy with my performance today. After an eight-week break it was always going to be a challenge, but it’s all a stepping stone towards the big goal later in the year.


“For the next few races for para-cycling, I just need to keep performing and showing up and doing my best, and hopefully being on that number-one spot, and fingers crossed I qualify for the Games.”


Darren Hicks para-cyclist at the 2024 Federation University Road National Championships in Ballarat
Darren Hicks in action at Road Nationals. (Con Chronis)

Darren Hicks won his Mens C2 event, but his race was hampered by a mechanical issue that delayed his start.


“I think I rode ‘okay’,” Hicks said. “Sitting there for 20 minutes and getting cold didn’t help. The numbers weren’t where we expected or liked them to be. But the processes were fine, I was calm; it was nice to know that I can get through an awkward start to a race and still perform.


“We’ll put that one in the memory bank and make sure the bike works for the World Cup in a week’s time.”


2024 National Champions – Individual Time Trial

Women

  • AWII: Montana WHITELEY (Preston CC)

  • B: Madelene MCNEIL (Port Adelaide CC) / Laura TOMLINSON

  • C2: Tahlia CLAYTON-GOODIE (Geelong CC)

  • C3: Paige GRECO (Port Adelaide CC)

  • C4: Emily PETRICOLA (St Kilda CC)

  • C5: Alana FORSTER (Ballarat - Sebastopol CC)

  • Transplant: Kate BURTON (Northern Beaches CC)

  • H3: Lauren PARKER (Newcastle Hunter CC)

Men

  • AWII: Cameron MARSHALL (Hawthorn CC)

  • B: Kieran MURPHY (Norwood CC) / Michael FREIBERG

  • C2: Darren HICKS (Norwood CC)

  • C3: William ZAMMIT (Ballarat - Sebastopol CC)

  • C4: Kyle BRIDGWOOD (Sunshine Coast CC)

  • C5: Alistair DONOHOE (Blackburn CC)

  • Transplant: Perry JUDD (Hamilton Wheelers CC)

  • H1: Charles BRICE (Port Adelaide CC)

  • H2: Rhys TAPPENDEN (Lifecycle CC)

  • H3: Alex WELSH (Lifecycle CC)

  • H4: Grant ALLEN (Port Adelaide CC)

  • H5: Sam GERMEIN (Port Adelaide CC)

  • T2: Stuart JONES (Newcastle CC)


2024 Virtus Cycling World Series

Individual Time Trial – Winners

  • Womens AWII-1: Montana WHITELEY (Preston CC)

  • Mens AWII-1: Louis FUHRMANN (FRA)

  • Mens AWII-2: Ange RICHIERO (FRA)

  • Mens AWII-3: Dastan ORDABAY (KAZ)


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