Italian cyclists were in outstanding form as they captured four time trial golds to lead the medals table after the first day of competition (2 August) at the Road World Championships.
With the support of his home crowd in Maniago, Paralympic champion Luca Mazzone reached the top of the podium in the men’s H2 with a time of 23:14.14. He was followed by USA’s Rio 2016 gold medallist William Groulx (23:41.68) and Spain’s Sergio Garrote Munoz (24:17.18)
There was an Italian 1-2 in the men’s H3 with Federico Mestroni (21:07.63) springing a surprise by beating compatriot and Paralympic champion Paolo Cecchetto (21:12.20). Canada’s Alex Hyndman (21:20.58) collected bronze.
Two-time Rio 2016 bronze medallist Francesca Porcellato (23:36.57) added a third gold for the hosts in the women’s H3. USA’s Alicia Dana (24:03.85) ended second and Brazil’s Jady Malavazzi (24:20.30) third.
Fabrizio Cornegliani (men’s H1) took the fourth with a time of 31:11.88, ahead of South Africa’s Nicolas Du Preez (31:27.11) and Switzerland’s Benjamin Fruh (33:46.88).
Netherlands enjoy successful first day
Dutch cyclists also sealed four golds but fewer overall medals than their Italian rivals.
Rio 2016 triathlon champion Jetze Plat came in first in the men’s H4 after clocking 19:20.08. Poland’s Krystian Giera (20:14.32) and Rafal Wilk (21:04.63) finished second and third, respectively.
The other three golds came from the women’s events.
Two-time Paralympic silver medallist Laura De Vaan (22:41.37) topped the podium in the H5 category. Germany’s Nordic skiing Paralympic gold medallist Andrea Eskau (23:48.40) and Italy’s Ana Maria Vitelaru (27:11.91) followed her.
Jennette Jansen (23:30.05) took gold in the H4 race, ahead of Russia’s* Svetlana Moshkovich (24:21.16) and Switzerland’s Sandra Graf (24:40.83).
Carmen Koedood (37:38.89) won the H2 race, with South Korea’s Mikyoung Jeon (41:52.06) claiming silver.
Australian Emilie Miller (58:15.25) was the only racer in the women’s H1 and won by default.
Competitions continue on 3 August with the remaining time trial events.
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.