Storey, Cundy break world records on the track

Two of the top names in British cycling proved themselves at the UCI Para-Cycling Track World Championships. 13 Apr 2014
Sarah Storey

Great Britain's Sarah Storey celebrates winning the women's 3km pursuit C5 with her baby Louisa.

ⒸJean-Baptiste Benavent

Sarah Storey’s teammate, Jody Cundy laid to rest the ghost of disqualification at London 2012 by setting a new 1km time trial world record to take gold in the C4 class.

Australian and British cyclists had the better of the third day of the UCI Para-Cycling Track World Championships in Aguascalientes Mexico on Saturday (12 April), with both countries winning two gold medals each.

With the mercury in the Velodrome tipping over 37 degrees Celsius, Australia’s Susan Powell took the 3km pursuit C4 world title soon after her teammate Jayme Richardson had taken the rainbow jersey in the C1 class.

Powell, 47, the current Paralympic champion in the event, had enough to defeat London 2012 bronze medallist and compatriot Alexandra Green in the final.

China’s Jianping Ruan, who finished fifth in London, beat New Zealand Katherine Horan to the bronze.

Great Britain’s Sarah Storey held the 3km pursuit C5 world record of 3:32.170 from the London 2012 Paralympic Games but shaved almost two tenths off that mark, posting a 3:32.050 in qualifying on the ultra-fast Aguascalientes track.

The 36-year-old’s time was over 12 seconds faster than second-placed Anna Harkowska of Poland and so the ride off for gold was a foregone conclusion, Storey achieving the catch within 2km to seal the gold medal. Greta Neimanas of the USA took bronze.

After her ride, Storey told BBC Sport: "It's been great to get back to the winning form I was enjoying at London 2012 and to go that little bit quicker than London in the morning was just the icing on the cake.

"The figures on the clock are really encouraging, and my target of going under three-and-a-half minutes over 3km should hopefully happen in the near future."

Storey’s teammate, Jody Cundy laid to rest the ghost of disqualification at London 2012 by setting a new 1km time trial world record to take gold in the C4 class.

The 35-year-old shaved 3.678 seconds off his previous best by clocking 1:01.466.

Cundy later tweeted a picture of his rainbow jersey and gold medal together with the message “Sometime a picture says 1000 words. Thanks to everyone involved to get me on back on the top step! #paratrackworlds.”

Slovakia’s Jozef Metelka finished with the silver and China’s Guopin Wei with the bronze.

Two of the race favourites – Romania’s Carol-Eduard Novak and the Czech Republic’s Jiri Jezek – finished off the podium in fifth and eighth place, respectively.

The USA’s Jamie Whitmore won her second world title and set her second world record of the week in the women’s 3km pursuit C3.

In the morning’s qualifying round, Whitmore briefly held the world record, before Germany’s Denise Schindler bettered the mark.

But in the gold-medal final, Whitmore came back to make a statement as she broke the world record and won in a time of 4:07.487.

Schindler took silver and Australia’s Simone Kennedy the bronze.

“It is a really great feeling to win and see the record broken three times,” Whitmore told US Paralympics. “It is kind of nice to not have a lot of expectations because you are so new to the sport, so there was more excitement than pressure, and I was just able to go out and ride as fast as I possibly could.”

London 2012 time trial silver medallist Alyda Norbruis of the Netherlands was victorious in the 3km pursuit C2, beating China’s Sini Zeng in the final. Bronze went to the USA’s Allison Jones who, last month, was a medallist at the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games.

In the men’s 1km time trial C5, 21-year-old Alfonso Cabello of Spain sped to gold ahead of Great Britain’s Jon-Allan Butterworth and Australia’s Alistair Donohoe in the same event he won gold in at the London 2012 Games.

Argentina’s Rodrigo Fernando Lopez paced himself to the top spot on the podium in the 1km time trial C1, with the Netherlands’ Arnoud Nijhuis taking silver and Canada’s Jaye Mille claiming bronze. The victory was a huge achievement for the Argentinian, who finished sixth in the event at London 2012.

In the other men’s 1km time trial races, China’s Hao Xie and Gui Hua Lian finished one-two in the C2, with Czech rider Ivo Koblasa taking third, and Russia’s Alexey Obydennov and Sergey Batukov finished one-two in the C3 class ahead of Belgium’s Diedrick Schelfhout.