LONDON – The United States collected two more bronze medals in road cycling on Thursday at the London 2012 Paralympic Games. Allison Jones (Colorado Springs, Colo.) won a bronze in the women's individual C 1-3 road race, her third medal of the Games, and Kelly Crowley (San Francisco, Calif.) added a bronze in the women's individual C 4-5 road race, her second of the Games.
"It was nice that I got on the podium,” Jones said. “That was probably the hardest road race I have raced so far. It was on the whole time. There was no chance to get water, there was no chance to really recover without worrying about one of the other girls trying to push the pace or take off. It was a tough battle. I've raced with some fantastic athletes and I am just glad I made it to the podium."
Sini Zeng of China won the race in 1:29:02 while Germany’s Denise Schindler took second with 1:29:11. Jones dueled with the German at the finish, coming in at the same time.
"I knew Denise had just overtaken me, so I knew it was about getting back into her draft and trying to make a run at her down the hill to the finish line, but unfortunately I ran out of steam about halfway past her,” she said. “I just couldn't quite get her under. I am sure she had the same thoughts seeing me come beside her and finding every ounce of strength she had and it is great we had a race like that."
Crowley finished in a time of 1:48:34. The gold medal went to Great Britain’s Sarah Storey (1:40:36) while Anna Harkowska of Poland claimed the silver with 1:47:58.
"This is the hardest Paralympics course we've ever had, and I love it,” Crowley said. “It's nice to have something that's going to challenge different kinds of riders. Normally it's really flat and benefits the power riders, and I am more of a hill climber. The longer the race, the steeper it is, the better I do. And so this is what I found today. It was hard, though."
The bronze completed Crowley’s program at the Games.
"I'm going to see London,” she said. “I wanna ride the London Eye. I would love to meet the Queen, or more importantly, see those little dogs (corgis). So yeah, a vacation."
U.S. road cyclers won seven medals Wednesday and now have nine overall.
"It has been a success, our team is doing great,” Jones said. “We are having good results from everybody. If they are not on a podium it is a personal best. Just great efforts, total heart and passion. It is good to be around that. I've gotten on the podium three times now. It is great to have that camaraderie, that momentum going, not just for yourself, but everyone around you. I enjoy racing and I know Sam (Kavanagh) was racing out there with the C4-5 men putting everything into it and trying his hardest, and it just drives me forward to do the same thing."