The British anthem sounded four times at the Velodrome in LA’s Home Depot Centre on Saturday as GB’s men dominated in the Kilo and Sarah Storey in the Women’s Pursuit. Iga Kowalski-Owen of of British Cycling and Christina Kelkel report.
Multiple World and Paralympic Champion Darren Kenny (C3) put yesterday’s disappointing silver ride in the Pursuit behind him and rode a superb 1km Time Trial (1:12.496) to win with a comfortable margin.
Jody Cundy, unbeaten in the C4 Kilo since 2006, showed the world he is on top form in Paralympic year by posting a time of 1:06.001 and winning the blue ribbon event with a 3 second margin over his closest opponent.
“It was a hard Kilo” said Cundy, who is used to breaking the world record during his Kilo ride. “It’s pretty tough out there. I don’t know what it is, whether it’s the air con or if weather conditions have changed, but you just don’t have the same sensation of speed that we had here when we arrived.”
He added: “Still, I’m quite happy to come away with less than a second outside my PB and a lot of good data to take away. It will be good to go to London as World Champion.”
The most electrifying ride of the day came from defending C5 Kilo World Champion Jon-Allan Butterworth. Half way through the time trial, Butterworth’s world record, which he posted in Montichiari last year, was broken by China’s Xingyang Liu.
Butterworth, the last rider to compete, endured the tense wait with calm composure and rode a brilliant time trial which got faster and faster with every lap. The Brit went on to smash China’s brand new world record with a time of 1:07.212 and clenched gold in his favourite event.
Talking about pre-event nerves, Butterworth said: “When I was going up there (track) I was thinking, right, I have to pull something special out of the bag, but as soon as I was on the start line I knew what I had to do. In the ride I was fighting every single yard.”
Butterworth admitted he would like to have gone faster: “I felt awesome on Tuesday and today it felt as if I was going slower than in training. Still, it’s nice to break a record and I’ll try and put it right for London.”
Both Cundy and Butterworth are already looking ahead to London where the Kilo will be factored and the C4 and C5 classes combined.
Cundy said: “It will be really exciting. Jon has just come away with gold and we’ll be racing together – two World Champions head to head in the same event. It doesn’t get any better than that.”
The final victory of the day came from Sarah Storey in the C5 3km Pursuit who posted the fastest qualification time in the morning and caught her opponent, Great Neimanas (USA), after 5.5 laps completed.
In other events, Mark Colbourne won silver in the C1 Kilo, having been pipped by Lopez (ARG) by two tenths of a second, and Shaun McKeown picked up bronze in the C3 Kilo.
Competition concludes tomorrow with Men’s and Women’s Tandem Sprints and the Mixed Team Sprint.
GB Medal Tally
C1 3km Pursuit – Mark Colbourne – Day 2
B 1km Time Trial – Anthony Kappes, piloted by Craig MacLean – Day 2
C5 500mTT – Sarah Storey (PB & British Record) – Day 1
C3 1km Time Trial – Darren Kenny – Day 3
C4 1km Time Trial – Jody Cundy – Day 3
C5 1km Time Trial – Jon-Allan Butterworth – Day 3
C5 3km Pursuit – Sarah Storey – Day 3
B 1km Time Trial – Neil Fachie, piloted by Barney Storey – Day 2
C3 3km Pursuit – Darren Kenny – Day 2
C1 1km Time Trial – Mark Colbourne – Day 3
B/Vi 3km Pursuit – Aileen McGlynn, piloted by Helen Scott – Day 1
B 1km Time Trial – Aileen McGlynn, piloted by Helen Scott – Day 2
C4 4km Pursuit – Jody Cundy – Day 2
C1 1km Time Trial – Shaun McKeown – Day 3
And here’s more from Christina Kelkel inside the Cundy/Colbourne camp
Today saw Mark Coulbourne racing in the 1km Time Trial, after he managed to take his first ever Para-Cycling World Championship Gold in his first International track competition!
As a track debutant, Colbourne had to go off as one of the first riders with 10 more riders to come after his heat. Motivated by yesterday’s success, he rode a very controlled and fast kilometer finishing in a time of 1:19.380, only 1.163 seconds off the current WR time and good enough to take the lead at that point. However, the race still was not over and Mark had to watch his competitors trying to beat his time whilst warming down in track centre.
With only the defending Champion and World Record holder Rodrigo Fernand Lopez of Argentina to go, Colbourne was still in the lead and guaranteed a Silver medal. Lopez started his time trial almost a second faster than Mark in lap one, but as he continued his race Lopez’s lead started to decrease more and more. In the end, he crossed the line in a time of 1:19.102, only .278 ahead of the Welshman who had to settle for Silver.
After the race Colbourne said “I felt very confident and mentally ready after the Gold medal win yesterday, even though my legs felt slightly heavy when I was warming up. This only was my second kilo in 4 months so I am really happy to be quite close to the World Record, especially as I rode a 5 second PB. I got into a nice rhythm straight from the start but after 2 tough rides yesterday, my legs tightened up in the last lap.”
After the Para-Cycling Track World Championships, Colbourne will now focus on his preparations for the London 2012 Paralympic Games. He said “We have learned a lot from these World Championships and will now work on the bits we need to improve for London. We will be doing a lot of work on the road in the build up to the Games as the Road Time Trial is one of my main targets as well as the 3km Pursuit and the Kilo.”
After winning the Bronze medal in the 4km Individual Pursuit yesterday, Jody Cundy was up in the 1km Time Trial today to defend his World Championship crown. As the defending Champion, Cundy got to start last giving him the advantage to see the times of his competitors. The time to beat then was that of Jiri Bouska (CZE) who had posted a 1:09.025, almost 4 seconds slower than Jody’s World Record time of 1:05.144. With a seemingly manageable task on hand, Jody was already more than a second up on Bouska’s time after the first lap. He managed to maintain the momentum to increase this lead to a comfortable 3.024 seconds crossing the line in a Gold medal winning time of 1:06.001.
But despite winning the World Championship title, Cundy admitted after the race: “I have to say my legs felt like jelly this morning, they felt awful. It’s the first time before a kilo I didn’t really feel ready for it, so it was all about getting the ride out. I went flat out out of the gate but after a lap and a half, it already didn’t feel very fast. I tried to give it everything and by the time I got towards the last lap, I just tried to keep it going. I kind of switched into pursuit mode as it’s almost pursuit pace by the time you get to the last lap. And when I came down the back straight I overheard the commentator saying that I was more than 2 seconds up, so I knew that we should be able to get it.”
“I am a little annoyed to be .001 away from a 1:05 and also it’s the first time ever, that I’ve won a World or Paralympic title and not broke the world record at the same time, but I shouldn’t be too disappointed. We might have got my taper slightly wrong or maybe just didn’t have enough recovery from the flight and the travel, but we can learn from that and that’s the important bit”
After successfully defending his Kilo title today, Cundy will be racing in the Mixed Team Sprint alongside Darren Kenny and Sarah Storey on the final day of the competition tomorrow. A rule change after last year’s World Championships – allowing fewer points per team – had forced the British coaches to reorganise their team sprint line-up, and other Nations will be running different teams as well.
“It will be a complete mystery this time” Cundy said, “We don’t know what orders teams are running, which riders they have selected, but we will just focus on ourselves, get the best out of each other and be safe and technically correct. As long as we do everything within our control and make sure everything is right from our end, we’ll see what happens. But I think we’ve got the team that can win.”