#Apeldoorn2019 Day 1 Recap
It was a triple treat for the Australian Cycling Team on the opening day of the 2019 UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships in the Netherlands with Paige Greco, Darren Hicks and David Nicholas claiming individual pursuit world titles. Read More.
“Right now I think I’m feeling every emotion possible,” said Darren Hicks after claiming his maiden world title. “I am excited & relieved, and in disbelief, I can't quite comprehend that I've finally got my first world championship and rainbow jersey, it's crazy!”
Second fastest in C2 Individual Pursuit qualifying (3:42.709) behind Tristan Chernove (CAN) by less than half a second, before Hicks turned the tables on his Canadian opponent by three seconds in the final (3:45.390).
“My plan for qualifying was the same thing we have been working on for months, that is until I came through on my second lap six-tenths up on my schedule,” said Hicks revealing it not all went according to his pre-race plan. “After that, it was 'hold on for dear life' and get through those last ten laps without blowing my left leg apart!! In the end, I think I was fortunate to scrape in as the second qualifier, but hey, I'll take some luck going my way for a change!
“The final was a chance to make right what I did wrong in the qualifier, but unfortunately the tank was pretty empty from leaving it all out there on my first ride. So, in the end, I just settled to my schedule as best I could and tried to be as smooth as possible, the time is a little disappointing but in the end, the time doesn't matter in a medal ride off, just as long as you cross the line first.”
The win comes after a tumultuous year for the 34-year-old Adelaide cyclist who in January had charges against him dropped for a freeway truck crash that killed two people in 2014, the same accident in which Hicks lost his right leg.
“It has been a full on year, it was a long, agonising, very expensive road but it's behind me now, and I can finally focus fully on my racing,” Hicks said. “I just would like to say thanks to everyone that's helped me get to where I am today. I'm very grateful for all the opportunities I have been given and am glad I could bring home the chocolates for the first time on the big stage!
“A thank you to my awesome wife who supports me galavanting around the world riding my bike, your unreal babe, and I can't wait to show you the new bling!!”
The 2019 UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships will be held in the Netherlands from 14-17 March and offers valuable qualification points towards the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, with the Australian team to vie against 200 of the world’s best from 30 countries.
Qualification points towards the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games are on offer, with 16 of Australia's best set to vie against 200 of the world’s best from 30 countries.
© Casey B. Gibson
The Australian team has settled into a chilly Apeldoorn in the Netherlands ahead of the 2019 UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships which run 14-17 March.
The Championships offers valuable qualification points towards the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, with the Australian team to vie against 200 of the world's best from 30 countries.
While it snows outside, many members of the team including former world champions Alistair Donohoe (VIC) has opted for time in the sauna!
Former world champion Tandem pairing Jessica Gallagher (VIC) and Pilot Madison Janssen (VIC) fine-tuned their preparations for the Championships at the UCI World Cycling Centre in Switzerland after the pair received an invitation to attend the International Training Camp. Read more.
In the men's Tandem events Brad Henderson (SA) will be piloted by Luke Zaccaria.
The team will also feature reigning world champion David Nicholas (QLD), plus former world champions Amanda Reid (NSW) and Simone Kennedy (NSW).
âEmily Petricola (VIC) returns to the team following her outstanding debut at the 2018 World Championships which saw her bring home dual medals and the individual pursuit world record.
2018 World Championship scratch race silver medalist Darren Hicks (SA) will look to continue his strong form with a focus towards the timed events, while Paige Greco (SA), Michael Shippley (QLD) and Daniel Van der Laan (NSW) will make their national team debut.
The Australian Cycling Team is locked and loaded ahead of the 2018 UCI Para-cycling Road World Championships which begin Thursday 2 August in Maniago, Italy.
The team is littered with some of the biggest names in para-cycling, including seven-time and dual reigning world champion Carol Cooke, Paralympic gold medallist David Nicholas, former world champion Kyle Bridgwood and Alistair Donohoe.
And while it is easy to focus on these names, there have been two riders quietly making names for themselves in households across the country.
South Australian duo Darren Hicks and Meg Lemon announced themselves at the 2017 UCI Para-cycling Road World Championships when on their debut, they clinched dual silver and dual bronze respectively.
In 2018, they the pair head into the World Championships in form and full of confidence after winning gold at May’s opening round of the UCI Para Road World Cup in Belgium.
“We’ve put in a lot of hard work since Belgium working on both skills and fitness in preparation for these World Champs,” said Lemon, who will contest the women’s C4 road race and time trial from Friday.
“Our coach believes he’s worked as harder than ever, so I’m hoping the hard work will pay off here.”
“I would love to podium again this year at Worlds and the World Cup hoping my form and skills I have worked in will help to improve and move up the step to perhaps silver or gold in the race,” added Lemon. “You never know what will happen race day and how everyone else performs, but it’s all about experience and working towards the next few years and qualifying and hopefully peaking at Tokyo.”
However, while she is clearly focussed on her own race and path to Tokyo, Lemon was quick to point out to others what she believes her teammates are capable of achieving this weekend.
“I’m also so excited to see what my teammates can do. I have a feeling Darren might beat us to the rainbow stripes this year,” Lemon remarked.
For Darren Hicks who will race the men’s C2 road race and time trial, his 2018 season has been almost flawless with dual national titles in January, followed by World Cup gold in May.
“It's been a dream start to the road season, most of my training is in preparation for road competition, so it was great to see all of that pay off in Belgium,” said Hicks, who despite the early season successes, has continued to strive for the marginal gains.
“As far as performance goes my numbers were good in Ostend, but we have worked on a few things since coming home and made some nice gains in a couple of areas.
“After a surprising set of results last year, going backwards and staying stagnant aren't options so that only leaves climbing one step higher on the podium!
“So quite simply, winning is my one and only goal.”
More on the Championships
The Championships will be live streamed via the official Facebook page, with more event information via the official website.
For official start lists and results, visit the UCI website.
2018 Australian Cycling Team - UCI Para Road World Championships
The Australian Cycling Team has celebrated ten medals at the 2018 UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships in Rio, fourth most by any nation behind Great Britain, Netherlands and China.
Highlighting the four days of competition for the green and gold was a world title defence by David Nicholas (QLD), and a world record and two medals to debutant Emily Petricola (VIC), plus dual silver to the Tandem pairing of Jessica Gallagher and Maddie Janssen.
The Championships also offered the first vital opportunity for nations to grab valuable qualification points towards Tokyo 2020, with the 16-rider Australian team featuring among 200 of the world’s best from 30 countries. Complete results.
Summary of medallists
Reigning Paralympic and world champion David Nicholas (QLD) surged to defend his C3 individual pursuit world title on the opening day, clocking the fastest time during Thursday afternoon’s qualifying (3:36.792).
Nicholas found two extra seconds in the tank in the evening’s final (3:34.804) to comfortably defeat Diederick Schelfhout (BEL) by over four seconds.
"It definitely feels amazing to defend my pursuit title, as it was the objective of the Championships. I am pretty happy with my results but there is always room for improvements so I will reflect when we get home and hopefully be stronger and faster next time," said Nicholas.
On her team debut on Thursday, Emily Petricola (VIC) powered to a time of 41.409secs to win bronze in the C4 women’s 500m time trial.
On Saturday, Petricola eclipsed the existing C4 individual pursuit world record in qualifying by two tenths of a second (3:54.501), before riding to take the silver medal. Teammate Meg Lemon (SA) won the bronze.
“I have been pleasantly surprised by my performance here, in particular grabbing bronze in the time trial,” said Petricola, who only began cycling a few months ago.
“I need to acknowledge the work of Cam Jennings who has moulded me into some resemblance of a track cyclist.
“Taking the world record in the individual pursuit was not in the plans, but a great bonus. My only possible improvement would have been gold in the event.”
Victorians Jessica Gallagher and Maddie Janssen claimed dual silver on the week in the Tandem time trial and sprint, with the pair recording a personal best in the flying 200m. Both Tandem events were won by multiple Paralympic and world champion Sophie Thornhill (GBR) and Pilot Helen Scott, including world records in both events.
Gallagher and Janssen will now head home to represent Australia at the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
“We are really happy with our results and our two silver medals,” said Gallagher. “A personal best in our flying 200m and just outside our one kilometre time trial personal gives us great momentum as we head straight into GC2018.
“We have a few areas we can improve on & we are incredibly excited to head home and race on home soil.”
In all, Australia finished just off the top step in seven events with silver to Amanda Reid (NSW-C2) in the time trial, Kyle Bridgwood (QLD-C4) in the pursuit, and Alistair Donohoe (VIC-C5) and Darren Hicks (SA-C2) in their respective scratch races.
The team was also just off the podium in fourth on seven occasions through Darren Hicks (SA-C2), Simone Kennedy (NSW-C3) and Amanda Reid (NSW-C2) in the individual pursuit, and Kennedy and Kyle Bridgwood (QLD-C4) in the time trial.
In the men’s Tandem, Brad Henderson and Pilot Thomas Clarke finished fourth in both the time trial and sprint in their first Championships as a pairing. It took the might of multiple Paralympic and world champion Neil Fachie (GBR) and Pilot Matthew Rothertham to stop the pair’s run in the sprint semi final.
In other events, Alistair Donohoe (VIC) finished fifth in the C5 individual pursuit and eighth in the time trial, Lemon sixth in the time trial, and Reid fifth in the scratch race. Darcy Thompson (SA-C1) was eighth in the time trial and sixth in the individual pursuit, with Gordon Allan (NSW-C2) fifth in the time trial.
The Tandem pairing of Kieran Murphy and Pilot Lachlan Glasspool (SA) was seventh in the pursuit and in the time trial.
Day 4 Photos © Casey Gibson