The home crowd’s support pushed Italy to the top of the medals table on the final day of the Road World Championships in Maniago. The hosts claimed one gold, two silvers and one bronze on Sunday (5 August) to overtake Netherlands as the most successful nation.
Michele Pittacolo (1:52.00) won Italy the last gold medal of the Championships in dramatic fashion. A photo finish in the men’s road race C4 saw all three cyclists finish with a time of 1:52:00. Pittacolo was awarded the win, with Russia’s* Sergei Pudov taking silver ahead of Belgium’s Louis Clincke.
Italy collected nine golds, four silvers and four bronze overall.
Italian Paralympic Committee President Luca Pancalli said: “An extraordinary World Championships for Italy closes. Our team has achieved incredible results to confirm its position at the top of the world.
“I would therefore like to send my congratulations to these extraordinary youngsters, from the technicians - starting from coach Mario Valentini - to the President Renato Di Rocco and to the whole Italian Cycling Federation for the great work done, and to the organisers who allowed the athletes to compete in the best conditions.”
USA seal second
US cyclists took two golds on the last day to round off a successful Road Worlds. While it was not enough to beat Italy, they surpassed Netherlands to finish second in the table with nine golds, four silvers and two bronze.
Shawn Morelli defended the world title in the women’s road race C4 with a time of 1:55:21, finishing ahead of Australia’s Hannah Macdougall and China’s Jianping Ruan.
The other US gold medal of the day came in the team relay, with the winners clocking 27:55. They were followed by Italy and Spain.
Paralympic champions top the podium
Rio 2016 gold medallist Tristen Chenove won Canada’s second and last title in Maniago, in the men’s road race C2. Another photo finish saw him awarded the title ahead of Colombia’s Alejandro Perea and Australia’s Darren Hicks – all three finished with a time of 1:45.30.
Great Britain’s most decorated female Paralympian Sarah Storey (1:51.13) took her second gold on Italian soil in the women’s road race C5. Colombia’s Paula Veloza and Storey’s compatriot Crystal Lane-Wright completed the podium.
Full results are available on UCI’s website.
*Editor's note: The International Paralympic Committee suspended the Russian Paralympic Committee on 7 August 2016 for its inability to fulfil its IPC membership responsibilities and obligations, in particular its obligation to comply with the IPC Anti-Doping Code and the World Anti-Doping Code (to which it is also a signatory). As a result of the suspension, Russian athletes cannot enter IPC sanctioned events or competitions, including the Paralympic Games.