Just enough in ‘tank’ to beat champ

Whitsunday Times - - FRONT PAGE - Chris Lees

“OVER the moon.”

Those were the words of Proser­pine cy­clist David Ni­cholas just min­utes af­ter he won a gold medal in the C3 3000m in­di­vid­ual pur­suit at the Paralympics.

Ni­cholas came from be­hind in a con­trolled ride to beat 2016 world cham­pion Joseph Berenyi from the United States.

“I’ve got no words to de­scribe how I feel,” Ni­cholas said.

Berenyi was seven-tenths of a sec­ond up on the Aus­tralian af­ter 1km.

At the 2km mark, the Amer­i­can still held a half-sec­ond lead but Ni­cholas’ coach Nick For­mosa knew what the 24-year-old could do.

“It was so tough,” Ni­cholas said about the race.

“In the back of my mind I hoped I had a bit left in the tank for the last kilo­me­tre or so.

“So when the call came to lift over the last few laps, I tried to empty the tank and hoped it was enough to get him.”

It’s the sec­ond Par­a­lympic gold for Ni­cholas, who won the road time trial in Lon­don.

Ni­cholas said the at­mos­phere in the velodrome was great.

“I’ve got friends here and team­mates of mine cheer­ing me on,” he said.

“We all sup­port each other, it’s re­ally good.”

There were tears shed by Ni­cholas, who has cere­bral palsy, af­ter the gold medal ride.

“I worked very hard over the past four years to get this medal,” said Ni­cholas.

“Work­ing with Nick is great – he’s a fine coach and my buddy.”

What makes the win even more amaz­ing is that last year the Whit­sun­day Re­gional Coun­cil in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy worker was placed in a coma on life sup­port, suf­fer­ing from pul­monary pneu­mo­nia.

Ni­cholas will be back on the track on Sun­day, Brazil time, in the team sprint event.


GLORY: Proser­pine cy­clist David Ni­cholas is cel­e­brat­ing win­ning gold in the C3 3000m in­di­vid­ual pur­suit at the Paralympics.

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