Australia has finished second on the overall standings behind Great Britain with nine gold and a glittering 17-medal haul at the 2019 UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships in the Netherlands.
The Australian team’s results were highlighted by dual gold to David Nicholas (QLD), Alistair Donohoe (VIC) and outstanding debutant Paige Greco (SA), who broke two world records.
Emily Petricola (VIC) and Amanda Reid (NSW) also celebrated victories and world records, while Darren Hicks (SA) claimed an emotional maiden world title.
Paige Greco, a former athletics stand out who has been cycling for little more than twelve months, dominated the individual pursuit and the time trial on the opening two days of competition.
“I am very happy, two good rides, I still can’t believe it," said Greco, 22. "I’ve only been in the sport for a short time but this has given me the determination to keep training and working on the things I need to improve on.
"I’m already looking forward to getting back into training and keep working at it.”
Victoria's Alistair Donohoe claimed his fifth and sixth career world titles victories in the C5 individual pursuit and scratch race.
"This team is backing each other so much and creating such a positive environment I think it's really bringing the most of all the riders,” said Donohoe, 24. ‘It is one of the most relaxed and constructive teams I've been amongst.”
“Thank you to the Cycling Australia coaches on this trip for putting in the finishing touches and ironing out the wrinkles to allow me to stand on the top step today. The support around me is second to none and it feels as though I've had the easiest job out of them all!"
Like Donohoe, David Nicholas pulled on rainbow jerseys in both the individual pursuit and scratch race.
“It feels so awesome, I can't explain the feeling,” said Nicholas, 27, after claiming a third straight world crown in C3 individual pursuit. “It takes a lot of effort to stay on top, but it is all worth it to get the rainbow jersey!
“Thanks so much to Cycling Australia for all the help and support this year. Thanks to my coach Nick Formosa for everything he has done for me.”
Darren Hicks was in disbelief after claiming his maiden world title in the individual pursuit.
“Right now I think I’m feeling every emotion possible. I am excited and relieved, I can't quite comprehend that I've finally got my first world championship and rainbow jersey... it's crazy!” The World Championship victory capped off a difficult year for Hicks, who in January, had charges against him dropped for a 2014 freeway truck crash that killed two people, the same accident in which he 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 on my racing.
“I 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!”
Melbourne's Emily Petricola took both the world record and world title in the C4 individual pursuit and revealed the meticulous planning undertaken since winning silver at 2018 World Championships after also breaking the world record in qualifying.
"I spent a lot of time over the course of the last twelve months identifying exactly what went wrong last year and what I needed to change so I didn't have the same outcome this year," said Petricola, 38. "I worked hard with both Shane Kelly and Cameron Jennings on controlling my riding in qualifying, as I do tend to get a bit excited on race day. But I did my best to follow the instructions being given to me throughout and, thankfully, we executed two good, fast rides to get the rainbows."
Sydney's Amanda Reid broke the world record in the C2 time trial on her way to winning a third career world title.
"It took a while to sink in, I couldn’t believe the time I had just ridden,” said Reid, 22. "Now that it has all sunk in, the feeling is unbelievable, a world title is amazing and the world record on top of that is like a dream come true for me.
"I am truly fortunate to be surrounded by an amazing support system and without them, this wouldn’t be possible."
Cycling Australia Para-cycling Technical Director Warren McDonald paid tribute to his predecessor and also the state-based programs for the platform for the successful World Championships.
“I would firstly like to thank Peter Day for building such a strong Para-cycling program,” said McDonald, who assumed the role from Day last September. “We have worked hard with staff and team coaches to provide a fantastic team environment for these Championships.
“The rider’s domestic coaches have delivered their athletes to the national program in fantastic condition and need to be commended on this preparation which has resulted in such a successful World Championships.”
Australian Team Medals (17)
Victoria's Emily Petricola is celebrating after claiming both the world record and world title in the C4 individual pursuit at the 2019 UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships in the Netherlands.
In a stunning afternoon qualifying ride, Petricola broke her own world record with a time of 3mins 53.297secs for the three-kilometre event. In the final, Canada's Kelly Shaw was no match with Petricola overtaking her opponent before the finish line to take the gold.
"The world record was very unexpected and unplanned, so it is hard describe or articulate exactly how I felt," said Petricola, however the Victorian could detail the meticulous planning involved since winning silver at 2018 World Championships after also breaking the world record in qualifying.
"I spent a lot of time over the course of the last twelve months identifying exactly what went wrong last year and what I needed to change so I didn't have the same outcome this year," she said. "I've worked really hard with both Shane Kelly and Cameron Jennings on controlling my riding so I can go faster in a second pursuit ride than in qualifying.
"This is difficult for me as I do tend to get a bit excited on race day, but I really did my best to follow the instructions being given to me throughout and, thankfully, today we executed two good, fast rides to get the rainbows."
Relocating from Melbourne to the Australian Cycling Team headquarters in Adelaide earlier this year, Petricola was quick to thank coaches in both cities.
"I have to thank first and foremost Cam Jennings for his coaching guidance and support. Shane Kelly who until my recent relocation spent a huge amount of time and energy teaching me so much; Harry Brennan for his expertise and support I in more areas than he is obliged to provide.
"But to all CA staff that are here with us - they have been beyond incredible including Warren McDonald, Keren Faulkner, Eliza Smythe, Nick Formosa, Mikey Winter, Jade Lean, Nathan Jennings and Louise Marvin.
"All my friends and family that have provided unending patience in their support of me doing this."
Later in the sessions, Petricola backed up her gold medal performance with a bronze in the C4 scratch race.
Team mate Meg Lemon took silver in the scratch race, while also taking bronze in the individual pursuit.
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.
Australia’s 2019 summer of track cycling begins this week at DISC Velodrome in Melbourne with the two-day 2019 Para-cycling National Championships.
Australian Cycling Team members will be in action including reigning Paralympic and world champion David Nicholas (QLD) and dual World Championship medallist Emily Petricola (VIC).
Nicholas delivered yet again in 2018 as he surged to defend his C3 individual pursuit world title in March, while also collecting a podium during the Road World Cup series and four National crowns on the road and track.
“It has been a great season, I kept it pretty low key after Track Worlds as I came down with bug away that put me out of action for a while anyway, but it was good to be able to build up to Road Worlds.
Nicholas will be aiming for his eighth consecutive pursuit crown and sixth straight win in the time trial, with the Queenslander’s sights also firmly set on March’s World Championships.
“My goals are obviously to defend my two nationals titles, but also to set a time in the kilo and pursuit to see where I am at in my preparations for the World Championships.”
Petricola will be looking to defend her C4 national pursuit crown, an event in which she shocked the para-cycling world in 2018 after breaking the world record in qualifying at the World Championships in March.
“When I look back at 2018 I'm pretty shocked at what a huge year it has been, in particular thinking back to the world champs and the results there, it all seems a bit surreal,” said Petricola, who claimed World Championship silver in both the pursuit and time trial.
While only having begun cycling a couple of years ago, Petricola was quickly selected to the Australian Cycling Team and has committed to the program by moving back to Melbourne after three years working in the United Arab Emirates.
“I have gone from training on my own all the time in the middle of the desert on a trainer most of the time, to be a part of the bigger machine of Cycling Australia and more locally, the VIS,” added Petricola, who will race both the time trial and pursuit this week on her home track at DISC before tackling FedUni RoadNats in January. “
"With so much change, I've certainly had to be a bit more resilient and persevere as I reestablish my life in Australia. But now that things are settling down a bit, I'm starting to find my rhythm and looking forward to getting some positive results over the coming months.”
Former world champions Alistair Donohoe (VIC), Kyle Bridgwood (QLD), Amanda Reid (NSW), Simone Kennedy (NSW), plus Jessica Gallagher (VIC) who will be piloted by Madison Janssen (VIC) in the Tandem events, will be in action.
The Para-cycling National Championships will be held in conjunction with the 2019 Omnium Championships.
#ParaTrackNats Quick Guide
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