13th February 2012: Great Britain has topped the medal table at LA’s Para-Cycling Track World Championships (9-12 February) with eight gold, seven silver and two bronze medals.
The final day of competition in LA was a mixed bag for the British Team. Both Men’s Tandems breezed through qualification – Kappes/MacLean posted a new WR (10.032) – and through the quarter finals.
GB’s plan was to place 1st and 2nd on the podium and have a battle of the Brits in an electric final but Barney Storey was taken ill after the morning session and had to withdraw from competition, leaving GB with just one men’s tandem to race.
The pairing of Kappes and MacLean went on to win the Sprint in style and the outcome of both the semi final and the final was decided with just two matches each time.
The new line-up of Darren Kenny, Sarah Storey and Jody Cundy, qualified first in the Team Sprint final, but could not match China’s impressive pace in the final. Until today GB has been unbeaten in the event since 2007, so the silver came as a shock to the team made up of multiple Paralympic Champions.
There was also silver for GB’s McGlynn and Scott in the Women’s Tandem Sprint.
The Championships in LA were a track dress rehearsal for the London Paralympic Games and GB’s final opportunity to score qualification points which will determine the size of the team for London.
The competition asserted Britain’s dominance in the Kilo and the Men’s Tandems and revealed the true potential of GB’s Mark Colbourne, who made a brilliant track debut with a win in the C1 Pursuit and silver in the C1 Kilo. However, it has also shown that more work is needed if GB is to dominate in London as the level of competition has moved on considerably since Montichiari last year.
“We knew the standard here was going to be high but it’s been tougher than we expected,” said Lead Coach Chris Furber referring to the performances of Australia, Ireland and China.
“It’s been a bit of a wake-up call for some riders and we’ve got to work really hard between now and the Games to stay in front where we are in front and get in front where we’re not,” he continued.
Furber alluded to possible changes to GB’s strategy for London: “We now need to look at the data to see if we can spread ourselves more thinly across more events or whether it’s within our best interest to focus on one event.
He added: “I know I would rather go away with one gold medal than two silvers and riders will feel exactly the same.”
Furber concluded “However, we are in the medal mix and that’s really important because if you’re in the medal mix here, you’re going to be competitive in London. From that point of view (17 medals) we’ve done very well.”
The GB Para-Cycling Team will now shift its focus to the road in preparation for the Para-Cycling Road World Cup series before preparations for the track take centre stage again nearer the Games.
GB Medal Tally
Women’s C5 500mTT – Sarah Storey (PB & British Record) – Day 1
Men’s C1 3km Pursuit – Mark Colbourne – Day 2
Men’s B 1km Time Trial – Anthony Kappes, piloted by Craig MacLean – Day 2
Men’s C3 1km Time Trial – Darren Kenny – Day 3
Men’s C4 1km Time Trial – Jody Cundy – Day 3
Men’s C5 1km Time Trial – Jon-Allan Butterworth – Day 3
Women’s C5 3km Pursuit – Sarah Storey – Day 3
Men’s B/Vi Sprint – Anthony Kappes, piloted by Craig MacLean – Day 4 (WR in qualification)
Women B/Vi 3km Pursuit – Aileen McGlynn, piloted by Helen Scott – Day 1
Women’s B 1km Time Trial – Aileen McGlynn, piloted by Helen Scott – Day 2
Men’s B 1km Time Trial – Neil Fachie, piloted by Barney Storey – Day 2
Men’s C3 3km Pursuit – Darren Kenny – Day 2
Men’s C1 1km Time Trial – Mark Colbourne – Day 3
Mixed Team Sprint – Darren Kenny, Sarah Storey, Jody Cundy – Day 4
Women B/Vi Sprint – Aileen McGlynn, piloted by Helen Scott – Day 4
Men’s C4 4km Pursuit – Jody Cundy – Day 2
Men’s C1 1km Time Trial – Shaun McKeown – Day 3
Full Results - VeloResults
Content - British Cycling