The Australian Cycling Team collected twelve medals, including three rainbow jerseys, at the 2018 UCI Para-cycling Road World Championships in Maniago, Italy.
Bathurst’s Emilie Miller (H1 Handcycle) won time trial and road race gold, while Melbourne’s Alistair Donohoe (C5) claimed his third career road world title.
The Victorian trio of Carol Cooke (T2 - Tricycle) and Hannah Macdougall (C4) won dual silver in the road race and time trial, as did debutant Kaitlyn Schurmann (C1).
Kyle Bridgwood and Meg Lemon won bronze in the C4 time trial finals, with Darren Hicks claiming bronze in the C2 road race.
Seven-time world champion Cooke was content with her dual silver medal-winning performance.
“I came into these World Championships hoping to bring home the world champion stripes, and I was in the best shape of my life,” said Cooke, who finished behind the USA’s Jill Walsh in both races. “I had my race plans in place and rode them perfectly, gave everything that I had. Unfortunately for me someone else, Jill was faster on both days.
“But I am very proud to have done my best, and for me that is the success, doing my best in any race. Two silver medals aren't too shabby! I am very happy to have been on the podium.”
A leader on and off the bike, Cooke, 56, recognised the growth and improving quality Tricycle racing, while also revealing the results of her teammates inspire her.
“The Trike class is growing and becoming stronger, and I am happy to be part of that growth.
“It has just made me hungrier for the next racing against Jill which will happen in a couple of weeks away in Canada at the last World Cup.
“It was also great to see my teammates do so well, Kaitlyn Schurmann in her first ever World Championship taking two silver and Emilie Miller winning two gold! Watching them ride is so inspiring.”
Cooke also paid tribute to retiring Cycling Australia’s Technical Director of Para-cycling Peter Day.
“We have an amazing team which has been put together by Peter over the last ten years, and it is with a heavy heart that we will be saying goodbye to his leadership in September.
However, we all wish him the best in his retirement, and I am sure that his wife Cheryl will be more than happy to have him at home!”
Like Cooke, Macdougall was ecstatic with her dual podium appearance in the road race and time trial.
"I am feeling absolutely awesome, am super stoked to pick up two silvers, and it was even more special to share the time trial podium with my Aussie teammate Meg," said Macdougall.
"The time trial was one of the most interesting and scenic courses we have had - not that I got to take a lot of it in - I raced and paced it well, crossing the line knowing I had given it everything I had.
"I am super proud of the race and of my performance, 200% improvement on my total career medals.
"But results like that aren’t an individual effort and I am so grateful to our support team."
Official results: visit the UCI website.
2018 Australian Cycling Team - UCI Para Road World Championships Summary
In a repeat of May's opening round of the UCI Para Road World Cup, Carol Cooke claimed gold and silver at round two in the Netherlands.
Cooke prevailed in the time trial by more than thirty seconds over of Jill Walsh (USA), before her US rival turned the tables to win the road race. The pair are now tied on the UCI Rankings.
"I'm very happy with how I rode both races at this second World Cup," said Cooke, who revealed she is starting to reap the benefits of long hours in the saddle in a new time trial racing position. "For the first time I felt really comfortable in that position and it is obviously helping as I won by a fairly good margin.
"I still have some work to do on my road race, however, the dynamics of the race were different because we were racing alongside the men. So that will change at the World Championships when we are riding our own race."
Cooke will now head to the Australian Institute of Sport European Training Centre (ETC) in Italy for targeted individual sessions, before the dual reigning and seven-time world champion joins the entire Australian team ahead of the Para Road World Championships which begin August 2.
"I'm looking forward to training at the ETC, it will help me acclimatise to the heat in Italy and help me focus solely on what I am here to do," Cooke added. "But I think one of the most important things is that I will be doing some specific sprint training in the next four weeks. My last two World Cup Road Races have come down to the final sprint and as history has shown Jill has got me on both of those."
"I'm looking forward to Worlds and looking forward to being back with the team. Obviously, my goal is to hold on to both my World Championship jerseys and I am feeling very fit and confident that I can do it."
Read more about Carol here.
Dual reigning world champion Carol Cooke will warm up for her title defence at the second round of the UCI Para World Cup in the Netherlands this weekend.
Cooke, who claimed gold and silver at the first round of the World Cup in Belgium in May, will race the TT on Friday and the Road Race on Saturday (6pm/530pm AEST).
“I’m looking forward to racing here, I had great races here last year, winning both the Road Race and TT, so I am hoping to do the same thing again this year,” said Cooke, who will line up in a small, but strong field, which includes Jill Walsh (USA) and Marie-Eve Croteau (CAN).
“At this point, I am probably at the fittest level I have ever been (especially in the gym) and I’m feeling good leading into these races next week.”
It has been a successful start to the 2018 season, and the qualification process towards the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, for the for the Australian Para-cycling Team with twelve medals, including six gold at May’s World Cup.
Following the Championships, Cooke will head to the Australian Institute of Sport base in Italy before later joining the entire Australian team ahead of the Para Road World Championships which begin August 2.
Follow Carol at the UCI Para World Cup in the Netherlands via the official website or via the UCI.
Michael Matthews (ACT) is celebrating an Oppy ‘triple crown’ after claiming three of the major honours at the 2017 Cycling Australia Awards in Melbourne on Friday.
Matthews, 27, was awarded the Sir Hubert 'Oppy' Opperman Medal & Trophy after being named the 2017 Australian Cyclist of the Year in front of 300 of Australian cycling’s elite.
In addition to the Road Cyclist of the Year award, the popular Canberran was also voted the 2017 JLT People’s Choice Award winner by thousands of Australian cycling fans.
“It is a huge honour in Australia to win the Oppy, it is something I have been dreaming about since I became a cyclist,” Matthews told Cycling Australia from his home in Monaco. “It is an unreal feeling (to win all three), I didn’t think it would happen so soon, but it is a reminder for me that it was a big year for me and Australian cycling.
“It means a lot that I can be among other excellent Australian cyclists who have won this award.”
In 2017, Matthews became just the third Australian to win the Tour de France green jersey, scorching to the sprinting honour with two stages wins.
At the Road World Championships, Matthews claimed the team time trial world title for Team Sunweb before winning road race bronze a few days later in the green and gold for the Australian Cycling Team.
“I started the season with mixed feelings as I went into a new team and you never know how fast will you adapt,” said Matthews of his debut in the black and white of the German professional team which saw him finish ninth on the UCI end of year rankings. “But I feel so comfortable in my team which reflects on my results too.
“Unfortunately, the rainbow jersey didn't work out for me but I will keep fighting for it.”
It is the first Oppy Medal for Matthews who began cycling as a teenager with the Tuggeranong Vikings Cycling Club after his cycling talents were recognised at school.
“Thank you to Cycling Australia and the whole cycling community in Australia to making sure our sport is well promoted and supporting young talents as I was, as without their support I would never be professional cyclist,” said Matthews, who was quick to thank the support of his family and friends.
“To my coach Brian Stephens, my team and my wife. They put great amounts of efforts into fulfilling my dreams and I am so thankful for that.
“And to all my fans which stay with me no matter if they are good or bad results, they are always there to support me.
“It’s not the easiest sport, and it sometimes has more downs than ups, but its something I love doing and seeing appreciation from Australia makes it so worth it.”
Katrin Garfoot (Gold Coast CC/QLD) won her third straight female Road Cyclist of the Year award after becoming just the second Australian female cyclist to win World Championships medals in the time trial and road race in the same year. The Gold Coast Cycling Club member, riding for Orica-Scott, also claimed both the road and time trial national crowns.
The Track Cyclists of the Year awards went to Cameron Meyer (Midland CC/WA) and Stephanie Morton (South Coast CC/SA).
Meyer took his career world title tally to eight after winning the team pursuit and points race crowns at the World Championships, in addition to the Madison silver. Meyer also added three national titles and World Cup gold and silver to secure a fourth career award.
It was a breakthrough international season for Morton who claimed her maiden World Championship medals in 2017 with silver in both the sprint and team sprint. Morton also won two national titles (sprint and team sprint) and set the fastest flying 200m time ever seen in Australia.
It was a glittering year from para-cyclist David Nicholas C3 (Mackay CC/QLD) who won the individual pursuit world title and a swag of medals including World Championship silver and bronze, Road World Cup gold and four national titles.
Nicholas was named the male Para-cyclist of the Year for a second time, while Carol Cooke T2 (St Kilda CC) rode to a third women’s award after claiming the time trial and road race world titles, three World Cup gold and two national titles on the road.
Caroline Buchanan (ACT) is celebrating a sixth straight BMX award after collecting World Championship silver, the national title and a win at the USA BMX Gator Nationals in 2017.
In the men’s BMX category, Australia welcomed a new BMX cyclist of the Year in Logan Martin (QLD) who was crowned the inaugural world champion in BMX Freestyle with a blazing run at the inaugural World Championships in China.
Queensland’s first siblings of mountain biking celebrated their first win in the category, with Michael Hannah grabbing World Championships silver, while sister Tracey Hannah claimed her first World Cup victory in five years and found the podium with bronze at the World Championships.
Carol Cooke T2 (St Kilda CC) and David Nicholas C3 (Mackay CC/QLD) have been crowned 2017 Australian Para-cyclists of the Year.
It was a glittering year from para-cyclist Nicholas C3 who won the individual pursuit world title and a swag of medals including World Championship silver and bronze, Road World Cup gold and four national titles on the track and road.
Cooke riding to a third women’s award after claiming the time trial and road race World Championships, three World Cup gold and two national titles on the road.
The Gary West Coach of the Year went to Nicholas Flyger (SA) who, during an emotional season which saw him take over the reigns from the late West, was instrumental in guiding Morton to her first World Championship sprint medal (silver) and the women's team sprint duo (Morton & McCulloch) to silver.
The Norm Gailey Trophy for Champion State went to New South Wales, while the Gold Coast Cycling Club won its maiden Australian Club Premiership.