Berenyi, Whitmore Capture Titles On Opening Day Of Para-cycling Track World Championships

By Mary Kate Lau | March 26, 2015, 6 p.m. (ET)

(L-R) Allison Jones, Joe Berenyi and Jamie Whitmore smile on the podium after winning medals on the first day of the 2015 UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships in Apeldoorn, Netherlands on March 26, 2015.

APELDOORN, Netherlands - The first day of the 2015 UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships featured three U.S. athletes on the podium in Apeldoorn, Netherlands, including two world champions - Joe Berenyi (Oswego, Illinois), Jamie Whitmore (Mt. Aukum, California) and a bronze medal for Allison Jones (Colorado Springs, Colorado).

“The team is off to a great start,” Ian Lawless, high performance director for U.S. Paralympic Cycling said. “Having ten top-eight finishes gives us a lot of momentum going into day two and it was fantastic to see Joe get his first world championship after a lot of hard work and dedicated training. 

Three-time Paralympic medalist Berenyi took gold in the men’s C3 1-kilometer time trial after finishing .039 of a second off the podium in the event last year. 

“Last year was a tough year with being so close to the jersey,” Berenyi said. “This year proved that hard work and dedication paid off and winning the jersey was an amazing accomplishment.”

His winning time today was 1:09.836 – more than a second ahead of Diedrick Schelfhout of Belgium and Russia’s Sergey Batukov. The second and third place finishers were only separated by .084 of a second.

The reigning world champion in the time trial and pursuit, Whitmore held onto her title in the women’s  C3 500-meter time trial in another tight race. Whitmore grabbed the top finish just .052 of a second ahead of second-place Denise Schindler of Germany with a time of 43.842. 

“It was a great race,” Whitmore said. “I like the 500 because I don’t feel as much pressure. It is so fun!  I go as fast as I can and today it was enough.  I feel that it is a great opener to tomorrow’s pursuit.”

Eight-time Paralympic medalist Jones finished with a bronze medal in the women’s C2 500m time trial, clocking in at 45.828. The gold medal in that race went to Alyda Norbruis of the Netherlands who set a new world record on her home track in 39.959.

Megan Fisher (Missoula, Montana) and Shawn Morelli (Leavenworth, Kansas) were within .7 of a second of each other to finish fourth and fifth, respectively, in the women’s C4 500-meter time trial. Fisher raced a 42.056 with Morelli closely behind at 42.697 seconds. Teammates Jennifer Schuble (Birmingham, Alabama) and Greta Neimanas (Chicago, Illinois) followed with another American fourth-fifth finish in the women’s C5 500-meter race. Schuble came in at 38.862 to take the fourth spot over Neimanas.

Other top Team USA performances include fifth place results by Todd Key (Scottsdale, Arizona) in the men’s C1 1-kilometer time trial and Chris Murphy (Alta Loma, California) in the men’s C5 1-kilometer.

Competition continues tomorrow with men’s and women’s 3km pursuit events where Whitmore will look to hold onto her second title. Full results can be found at Paracycling2015.com