Porcellato has participated in nine Paralympic Games, with her latest being at the Sochi 2014 Winter Paralympics in cross-country skiing.
Among the top ranked in her category, Italian cyclist Francesca Porcellato is one to chase in the women’s H3 when the UCI Para-Cycling Road World Championships begin on Wednesday (29 July) in Nottwil, Switzerland.
She is well aware of that fact, and it does not deter her approach to this week’s big event.
“I feel the same pressure every race, (and) I would like to do well every time,” Porcellato said.
The 45-year-old has had a successful 2015 season on the road World Cup circuit, winning the H3 road race when the segement came to Maniago, Italy, back in June; she took second in the time trial then.
She also won the Brixia Para-Cycling Cup in May and the La Duo Giorni del Mare a month before.
Not bad for someone who is picking up her third Paralympic sport.
In fact, Porcellato has participated in nine Paralympic Games, with her latest being at the Sochi 2014 Winter Paralympics in cross-country skiing. Her last medal was in Vancouver 2010, where she won gold in the 1km sprint sitting.
During her time as a cross country skier, Porcellato used cycling as part of her summer training routine and found she enjoyed the competitive side to the sport.
“After the Sochi Winter Games, I stopped my skiing competitions,” said Porcellato, who also competed in athletics, where she won 10 medals. “Now I am full-time for cycling, and I use the skiing just for winter training to help the cycling.”
Looking ahead to an international competition such as the Road World Championships, Porcellato trains up to four hours a day, both in the gym and on the road.
The Italian is a part of a very strong team heading to Nottwil, along with fellow No. 1 ranked athlete Fabio Anobile (C3, road).
“We have good coaches and good support by the Italian Federation, and in Italy, the cycling after the soccer is the sport most famous and followed,” Porcellato said.
But the women's H3 may feature a close call to the finish line. USA’s Alicia Dana is coming off her second World Cup win this year at Saturday’s (25 July) event in Elzach, Germany. That bumped Porcellato to No. 2 in the international rankings.
Dana also won the segement in Yverdon-les-Bains, Switzerland, finishing three minutes ahead of second-place Porcellato, and will surely challenge her in Nottwil.
The women’s handcycling road race will be held on the final day of the competition (2 August).
For more information on the Para-Cycling Road World Championships, please visit UCI’s website.