His­toric 5 Ti­tles For Canada Para Road Worlds

2017 Para Road World Cham­pi­onships

Pedal Magazine - - Contents - by Jack Cracker

Canada fin­ished the 2017 Para Road Cy­cling World Cham­pi­onships in Pi­eter­mar­itzburg, South Africa, held Aug. 31-Sept. 3, with a his­toric five World ti­tles and seven medals.

Team Canada opened the Cham­pi­onships with two medals, as Shel­ley Gau­tier (Toronto, Ont.) won gold in the women’s T1 time trial, while Charles Moreau (Vic­to­ri­av­ille, Que.) won bronze in the H3 men’s time trial.

“It feels mag­i­cal,” said Gau­tier, “to have a team of peo­ple who all do the lit­tle things that help me . . . we did it! I’m re­ally, re­ally ex­cited to be world cham­pion, and I’ll trea­sure it and ride well wear­ing [the rain­bow jersey] in the next year.”

Moreau was a two-time bronze medal­ist at the 2016 Rio Par­a­lympics, and this was his first World Cham­pi­onships medal.

“It feels re­ally good to get my first [Worlds] medal,” ad­mit­ted Moreau. “This year be­ing a postGames year and me hav­ing a new baby . . . it’s been a year of ups and downs. So it’s been hard to work [train] con­sis­tently, and I was not sure what to ex­pect at these first Worlds af­ter Rio. To­day was a great ex­pe­ri­ence, with a big­ger field than in Rio ac­tu­ally, but I did well against some re­ally ex­pe­ri­enced rac­ers, and I’m re­ally happy about that.”

Canada took its medal count to five af­ter the sec­ond day of com­pe­ti­tion, as Canucks won two more golds and a sil­ver in the time-trial com­pe­ti­tions.

In the men’s C2 cat­e­gory, Par­a­lympic cham­pion Tris­ten Ch­er­nove (Cran­brook, B.C.) won his first road ti­tle, to add to the four track World ti­tles he al­ready holds. Ch­er­nove’s win­ning time for the 23.3km race was 35 min­utes and 32.72 sec­onds, 16.44 sec­onds ahead of sil­ver medal­ist Dar­ren Hicks (AUS).

“It was won­der­ful to win to­day at my first op­por­tu­nity to com­pete at the Road World Cham­pi­onships,” said Ch­er­nove. “It’s my fifth World ti­tle, and what strikes me most to­day is how ideally set the at­mos­phere is amongst this amaz­ing Cana­dian team. I’m loving it.”

Michael Sametz (Cal­gary, Alta.), a bronze medal­ist in Rio, rac­ing in the 23.3km men’s C3 cat­e­gory also won his first road ti­tle with a time of 32 min­utes and 48.92 sec­onds. Benjamin Wat­son (GBR) fin­ished sec­ond, 37.19 sec­onds be­hind.

“It feels re­ally good to win the big one af­ter win­ning a cou­ple of World Cups this year,” ad­mit­ted Sametz.

Ross Wil­son (Sher­wood Park, Alta.), a dou­ble sil­ver medal­ist at the Rio Games, led his 23.3km C1-cat­e­gory race at the first split, but faded slightly to fin­ish 28.21 sec­onds be­hind win­ner Michael Teu­ber (GER).

“It was a great course and a lot of fun to be out there rac­ing,” said Wil­son. “I felt I rode re­ally well and my train­ing is pay­ing off. I’m work­ing with my coaches to de­vise a plan to find that half-minute that I need to take the rain­bow jersey next year.”

In other cat­e­gories, Marie-Claude Mol­nar (Saint-Hu­bert, Que.) was fifth in the women’s C4 com­pe­ti­tion, Ni­cole Cler­mont (Saint-De­nis-deBromp­ton, Que.) was eighth in the women’s C5 cat­e­gory, the women’s tan­dem team of Shawna Ryan (Saska­toon, Sask.) and Joanie Caron (Ri­mouski, Que,) was sev­enth, and the men’s tan­dem team of Matthieu Croteau-Daigle (Sher­brooke, Que.) and Benoit Lussier (Mon­treal, Que.) was 12th.

On­tario’s Gau­tier won her sec­ond World ti­tle at the Para-cy­cling Road Worlds, bring­ing Canada’s to­tal medal count to six for these Cham­pi­onships. Gau­tier, who had ear­lier won the women’s T1-cat­e­gory time trial, won the 24.3km road race with a time of one hour, one minute and 41 sec­onds, fin­ish­ing a lap ahead of Toni Mould (RSA).

Moreau fin­ished sev­enth in the men’s H3 60.7km race, Alex Hyn­d­man of Mor­peth, Ont. was 10th and Joey Des­jardins of Hawkes­bury, Ont. was 14th. Moreau was with the win­ning break un­til he suf­fered a me­chan­i­cal prob­lem.

On the fi­nal day, Ch­er­nove ini­ti­ated the win­ning move a d won the C2 men’s road race in a three-up sprint af­ter 60.7 kilo­me­tres of rac­ing. This is his sixth ti­tle in six World Cham­pi­onship events (four track, two road) since he be­gan rac­ing two years ago.

“It’s been a-dream-come-true kind of a sea­son,” ad­mit­ted Ch­er­nove. “This was my first Road Worlds and I had high ex­pec­ta­tions. I’ve worked re­ally hard since Rio without tak­ing a break. It’s my sixth rain­bow jersey and I can’t get the smile off my face.”

Wil­son missed out on a chance for a sec­ond medal in the men’s C1 road race af­ter he got caught be­hind a crash that saw three rid­ers who man­aged to avoid the in­ci­dent win­ning the medals. Wil­son, who won sil­ver in the time trial, chased for the rest of the race to fin­ish fourth.

In other Cana­dian road-race re­sults, Mol­nar took sixth in the women’s C4 cat­e­gory, Cler­mont was sev­enth in women’s C5, the women’s tan­dem team of Ryan and Caron was sixth, and the men’s tan­dem team of Croteau-Daigle and Lussier were 10th.

“It’s been a very suc­cess­ful World Cham­pi­onships – ob­vi­ously on re­sults, but also on all per­for­mances. The most pos­i­tive as­pect is that our team is very co­he­sive, which is what we have been aim­ing for,” said Se­bastien Travers, Para head coach at Cy­cling Canada.

(l-r) Philippe Gar­iépy (doc­tor), Ross Wil­son, Michael Sametz, Tris­ten Ch­er­nove, Ar­naud Li­tou (man­ager), Guil­laume Plourde (coach)

On­tario’s Shel­ley Gau­tier took home two golds.

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