Victoria's Alistair Donohoe claimed a fifth career world title with stirring victory in the C5 individual pursuit at the 2019 UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships in the Netherlands.
In a near personal best ride (4:27.456) to top the afternoon qualifying session, Donohoe overtook his Ukrainian opponent Yehor Dementyev in the final to take the world title.
"I was a bit nervous and unsure going into today's rides really," said Donohoe. "I knew I was in really good shape from the summer of racing I've had, just wasn't sure how that would translate into times today!
"I knew going in I just had to really control the start and not go out too hot, I'd seen a lot of people earlier on going out really quickly and paying for it in the tail end of their pursuit. Being round seven of nine, I still had three really good riders coming up behind me to I just had to put them out of my mind and try to execute the best ride I could and be happy with that.
"Happy, surprised, pumped, shocked, that's probably how I was feeling after the qualifying time. I didn't think I had that time in me but the coaches believed in me and I believed in them so it worked!
"Heading into the final, I had the same thoughts again, just go out and ride your ride for the first half of the four kilometres, then worry about racing him. I was lucky enough to put some good time into him early and get the catch so it made for a short and sweet final round.
"Overwhelmed and happy as Larry I am!"
After claiming his fifth career world title - second on the track - Donohoe paid tribute to the team and his support staff. "This team is backing each other so much and creating such a positive environment I think it's really bringing the most out of all the riders. One of the most relaxed and constructive teams I've been amongst.
"I'd love to thank my family for all their love, support and encouragement that makes doing what I do so much easier!
"To my coach Nick Owen for backing me and giving me the confidence and ability to get out there and rip it and have fun. To the CA 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!"
âThe 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.
âCasey B. Gibson