China’s strength and depth of Para cycling talent made them the runaway leaders with 21 medals as the 2020 Para Cycling Track World Championships concluded in Milton, Canada, on Sunday.
Chinese cyclists showcased their dominance as they won nine golds, five silvers and seven bronze.
It was a close battle for second place in the overall medals table between Great Britain and Australia: that battle was decided on the final day in Britain’s favour with a total of 14 medals (seven of them gold), including a late flurry in the tandem sprints.
The world records kept tumbling on the final day of competition too, with China setting another in the mixed team sprint final.
FIRST OFFICIAL OMNIUM
The omnium brings together a number of different races across which riders accumulate points for an overall title. It has been raced in able-bodied Track Cycling World Championships since 2007 but is new to the Para Cycling World Championships.
It was this weekend that the first Omnium rainbow jerseys were awarded.
This year it comprised four events: time trial (500m for women, 1km for men); 200m flying start time trial; individual pursuit (3km or 4km, depending on classification) and the scratch race (10km or 15km, depending on classification).
In the Men’s C3, Great Britain’s Jaco van Gass took a risk launching early and gaining a lap on the rest of the field to win the scratch from Russia’s Aleksei Obydennov and Spain’s Eduardo Santas Asensio.
The result meant the exact same podium positions in the omnium overall. It produced Van Gass’ second and third gold medals and rainbow jerseys of the Championships.
For Slovakian Jozef Metelka in the C4, it was the combination of wins in the third (pursuit) and fourth (scratch) events that sealed the omnium overall for him with 158 points from USA’s Jason Macom on 140.
In the men’s scratch C5, Australia’s Alistair Donohoe and Netherlands’ Daniel Abraham Gebru lapped the field, including France’s Dorian Foulon and Brazil’s Lauro Cesar Mouro Chaman. However, consistency throughout the multi-race competition from the latter two saw them take gold and silver respectively.
GREAT BRITAIN’S FINAL FLOURISH
In the women’s sprint B, British cyclist Sophie Thornhill (and pilot Helen Scott) beat Belgium to retain their title. In the men’s equivalent, it was a British head-to-head, with James Ball (and Lewis Stewart) taking gold ahead of last year’s world champions Neil Fachie (and Mathew Rotherham).
Full results are available on UCI’s website.