Luca Mazzone drew on all his years of experience to make it a hat-trick of wins at the 2021 UCI Para Cycling Road World Championships in Cascais, Portugal, which ended on Sunday (13 June).
Italy’s 50-year-old racked up his last gold of the competition in the men’s road race H2 with a time of 1:29.04 ahead of Spain’s Sergio Garrote Munoz and France’s Florian Jouanny.
Two-time cycling Paralympic champion Mazzone had also claimed first in the time trial and the team relay, the latter together with teammates Diego Colombardi and Paolo Cecchetto.
Mazzone, a former Paralympic swimmer, once revealed the reason behind his success, which held him in good stead under immense pressure from Munoz. “A fundamental quality of these two sports (swimming and cycling) is to endure mental fatigue. I would say this is the secret to getting to the top in both swimming and in handbiking.”
Other three Italians who celebrated double delight in Portugal were Simona Canipara (WH1), Roberta Amadeo (WH2) and Giorgio Farroni (MT1).
Dutch Paralympic cycling champion Jetze Plat cemented his glowing status in the history of Para cycling with golds in the men’s road race and time trial H4.
Canada’s Shelley Gautier carried over the form that saw her win time trial gold into the WT1 road race by riding to gold in 1:05:27.
ANNIKA ZEYEN RETAINS TITLE
Germany’s Annika Zeyen won the WH3 58.8km road race in 1:50:56, again an incredibly close battle as she inched ahead of Italy’s Francesca Porcellato at the finish line.
After bronze in the team relay and silver in the individual time trial, handbiker Zeyen completed her collection of medals with the gold medal in the road race and thus defended her title from 2019. She drove out of the field with two other riders in the second of seven laps (58.8 kilometers) away, and in the final sprint she was ahead.
“There were three of us on the second lap from the mountain and we worked well together. In the end it was a sprint finish. I didn't think I could win the sprint, I'm really happy, ” said an elated Zeyen on the NPC Germany website.
Full results are available on UCI’s website.