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)