Italy opens Road World Cup series with 11 wins

The home favourite team littered the results in the handcycling relay, tandem, C class and time trial events in Maniago. 08 Jun 2015
Alessandro Zanardi

Alessandro Zanardi of Italy competes in the Men's Individual H4 Time Trial at the London 2012 Paralympic Games

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Team Italy impressed their home crowd, closing out the first World Cup Road series at the top of the rankings with a total of 19 medals, 11 which were gold, in Maniago.

Five of those wins came on the final day on Sunday (7 June).

Italy dominated the handcycling team relay, with Vittorio Podesta (H3), Luca Mazzone (H2) and Alex Zanardi (H5) covering the 18 kilometre course in 28:11. Team USA, comprised of Brian Sheridan (H2), Matthew Updike (H3) and Oscar Sanchez (H5), finished in second (28:40); France’s team of Ludovic Narce (H3), Mathieu Bosredon (H4) and Rodolph Cecillon (H2), took third (29:06).

Italy’s Emanuele Bersini and Panizza Riccardo took the top prize in the men’s tandem race on Sunday, besting the British duo of Stephen Bate and Adam Duggleby by 16 seconds; Poland’s Marcin Polak and Michal Ladosz finished in third.

Andrea Pusateri added to Italy’s list of gold with a sprint finish to win the C1 class in 1:46.13 seconds. Germany’s Erich Winkler and Michael Teuber earned the silver and bronze medals on Sunday, respectively.

In the C5 category, Italy saw a one-two finish with Andrea Tarlao and Pierpaolo Addesi crossing the finish lines, respectively. The duo took a cumulative 55-second lead over the Netherland’s Daniel Abraham Gebru, who won the silver medal in Friday’s time trial.

Fabio Anobile also added gold for Italy on the final day in the C3 category. Anobile was the fastest of the first 12 cyclists who were a part of the sprint final. Germany’s Steffan Warias and Friday’s time trial gold medallist Russia’s Sergey Batukov came in second and third, respectively.

Slovakia’s Jozef Metelka added to Friday’s time-trial gold medal performance by defeating Romania’s Carol-Eduard Novak and France’s Jeremy Crepeliere, respectively, in the C4 class on Sunday.

In the women’s races, Poland’s Anna Harkowska was once again the fastest cyclist in the C5 class. Harkowska, who won the time trial, out-sprinted Germany’s Kerstin Brachtendorf for the win. The bronze medal went to Canada’s Nicole Clermont, who crossed the line five minutes after her two primary competitors.

In the C4 race, USA’s Shawn Morelli earned double gold by following up her time-trial victory with another win on Sunday. Italy’s Jenny Narcisi, who won bronze in the time trial, came in second. Canada’s Marie-Claude Molnar, who took silver on Friday, came in third.

After finishing second to the Netherland’s Alyda Norbruis in the C2 time trial, USA’s Allison Jones came away with gold on the road; the Czech Republic’s Tereza Diepoldova captured the bronze.

A similar scenario played out in the C3 class. Germany’s Denise Schindler won gold over USA’s Jamie Whitmore Cardenas, who had deprived the German cyclist of gold on Friday. Britain’s Megan Giglia earned her second bronze medal over the weekend.

In addition to their gold medals, Italy took home a total of four silver and four bronzes medals. Team Germany earned six gold medals, 10 silver and 4 bronze to take second place in the rankings. The Netherlands finished third with five gold medals, seven silver and three bronze.

The UCI Para-Cycling Road World Cup continues in Yverdon-les-Bains, Switzerland, on Sunday (14 June).