Australian Para-Cyclists top gold medal tally
Monday, 16 September 2019
The Australian Cycling Team is celebrating after finishing on top of the gold medal tally at the 2019 UCI Para Road World Championships in the Netherlands.
The team’s performances were highlighted by dual world titles to VIS’ Carol Cooke (T2), while fellow VIS scholarship holders Emily Petricola (C4) and Alistair Donohoe (C5) now boast dual Road and Track world crowns in 2019.
The evergreen Carol Cooke claimed her eighth and ninth career world titles as she raced to win the T2 (Tricycle) Time Trial and Road Races.
“I can’t believe that I’ve done the double. But I came into this year with no expectations, to enjoy racing and have fun. It’s turned out to be the best year ever,” said Cooke, who won four gold and two silver during the 2019 UCI Para-Cycling Road World Cup to be crowned Series Champion.
“I’ve learned a lot this year in regards to tactics and learning how to race (yes even after doing this for eight years) and that all comes from being open to trying new things with my coach Rebecca DiCello and my sports scientist Nick Owen. Those tactics certainly came into play today and helped me win this race.”
Cooke will head to the 2019 UCI Road World Championships in Yorkshire this week to contest a UCI Para Road Race before the triple Paralympic champion takes a well-earned break.
“For the first time at the able-bodied World Championships there will be a Para race, so I am looking forward to helping make history by racing there! Then it’s home to have a short break, re-connect with my husband, dog and family as it has been such a big year.
“But I’ll be back in training soon as 2020 is a big one with the Tokyo Paralympics. So I’ll have to pick it up, even more, to firstly make the team and then if I do, try and replicate Rio,” Cooke added.
In a nail-biting final, Alistair Donohoe secured his maiden Time Trial world title by less than two seconds on the opening day of the 2019 UCI Para Road World Championships in the Netherlands.
Donohoe averaged 47km/hour across the 32km course to clock 39mins 22:52secs to dash the hopes of Dutch cyclist, Daniel Abraham, by mere centimetres in the C5 final.
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I’ve been chasing this one for a few years... after being so close so many times I’ve finally snatched Time Trial victory 🌈🙏🏼 Winning this particular World Championship means a lot and is a testament to the incredible support I have around me in sport and life! My amazing family, @aca_cycling & @shawstu 🙏🏼 @cyclingaustralia @vicinstsport & the zwift champ @nickowen5 Obviously couldn’t have done it without all that help and I am so grateful for it all ❤️ 📸 Thanks to @cbgphoto for grabbing the memorable moment
“I can’t quite believe it just yet, it’s pretty surreal to me. I’ve been chasing the Time Trial gold for a few years now and to snatch it by 1.7 seconds is just amazing.
“The course was pretty technical, with seven corners a lap for three laps, it was tough to find your rhythm for long periods of time.
“We had a plan to go out conservatively because the back end of the race was really hurting people all day and I was fortunate enough to keep some gas in the tank for the last 15 kilometres and come home really well.”
The win was the third rainbow jersey of 2019 for Donohoe after the Victorian won two world titles in the C5 Individual Pursuit and Scratch Race at the 2019 Track World Championships in Apeldoorn, the Netherlands, in March.
Donohoe picked up the bronze medal in Saturday’s Men’s C5 Road Race.
Emily Petricola claimed gold in the C4 Time Trial on the opening day of the 2019 UCI Para Road World Championships in the Netherlands.
“I was honestly ecstatic to win! I've had a pretty tough prep with a lot of disruption and I knew it would take a really good performance to win today. I'm glad that despite everything going on in the lead-up, I could get the result for the coaches and our team.”
Petricola covered the technical 21-kilometre course in a time of 30mins 55.57 seconds, 32 seconds ahead of Shawn Morelli (USA). Petricola was able to celebrate with compatriot Meg Lemon (32:23:64) after she raced to win the bronze.
“The course was a bit deceptive. Even though the course was flat it was pretty windy out there. It all went by pretty fast, although it doesn't feel like that when you are doing it!”
The win continues Petricola’s stunning 2019 season after the Victorian won the track world title in the C4 Individual Pursuit, in world record time, at the 2019 Track World Championships in the Netherlands, in March.
“It is incredible! I've been really stubborn about wanting to improve on the road and do well there. It is amazing to think that this country has delivered me my maiden world titles on both the track and the road - it will definitely always hold a special place in my heart as a result.”
With Petricola targeting her maiden Paralympic Games team for Tokyo 2020, the result provides a perfect platform from which to build.
“It is a really important measuring stick in terms of where we are at in relation to the rest of the world ahead of Tokyo. It certainly gives us a great opportunity to see our strengths and weaknesses and start to plot a strategy for training to make sure we maximize our achievements there next year. It is a really exciting time for our team - we are strong in terms of both performances on the bike as well as our support off it.”
Petricola finished fifth in the Women’s C4 Road Race.
Stuart Tripp came agonisingly close to a medal after finishing 0.4 of a second off the podium in fourth in the Men’s H5 Time Trial, and finished in fifth place in the H5 Road Race. While Hannah Macdougall finished fourth and fifth in the Women’s C4 Time Trial and Road Race respectively.
- Carol Cooke T2 – TT gold, RR ️gold
- Stuart Tripp H5 – TT 4th, RR 5th
- Emily Petricola C4 - ️ TT gold, RR 5th
- Hannah Macdougall C4 – TT 4th, RR 5th
- Alistair Donohoe C5 – TT ️ gold, RR bronze
TT=Time Trial; RR=Road Race
By Cycling Australia
Photo with thanks to Casey Gibson / Cycling Australia