Team USA closes track cycling worlds with nine medals
AGUASCALIENTES, Mexico - Team USA closed out the UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships with a bronze medal from Jennifer Schuble in the women’s scratch race to bring the total medal count to nine on the final day of competition at the at the Bicentenary Velodrome.
Team USA was markedly improved from their last showing at the 2012 edition of the championships where they brought home four medals. The Americans more than doubled their medal haul as they won two golds, two silvers and five bronzes. Team USA also had three incredibly close fourth place finishes.
“We couldn’t be happier with how the team prepared and how they performed,” said Ian Lawless high performance director for U.S. Paralympics cycling. “To more than double our medals from the last track worlds was fantastic. The difference for the team is that we now have one of the greatest coaches in the world with Andy Sparks, we have had focused training that allowed our team to arrive in Mexico 100 percent ready, and our team morale and cohesion is better than it has ever been.
“To top it all off, we were able to have Jenny [Schuble] win a medal in the scratch race, and it’s the first time it has been a medal event at the world championships, so our team couldn’t be happier with how we performed here in Mexico.”
It was a busy day for Schuble (Birmingham, Ala.) as she raced in the qualification and final of the team sprint and the women’s scratch race. In the scratch race, Schuble patiently maintained her position with the main pack after Sarah Storey of Great Britain lapped the field. Schuble then held off two members of the chase pack to claim the bronze in a sprint for the finish line. Schuble also won silver in the C5 women’s time trial earlier in the week.
“It was an amazing feeling to get a medal against really tough competitors,” Schuble said. “For me to turn around from the team sprint, in these crazy hot conditions, and get third place, I’m very happy. It was a great race with lots of attacks, it was a clean race, we all stayed upright, and we showed the UCI that this race should stay in, and hopefully it is added to the Paralympic Games in Tokyo in 2020.”
In the team sprint Schuble, Jason Kimball (Charlotte, N.C.) and Chris Murphy (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.) advanced to the bronze medal final where they faced-off with Russia. The American’s finished fourth, less than two-tenths of a second off of the podium.
In the morning’s tandem sprints, the U.S. teams advanced to the quarterfinal round where they both set American records. Karissa Whitsell and pilot Jennifer Triplett, both of Colorado Springs, Colo. finished eighth, while Clark Rachfal (Annapolis, Md.) and pilot Dave Swanson (Tucson, Ariz.) finished sixth.
The U.S. Paralympic Cycling National Team will make a quick transition to the roads for the UCI Para-cycling Road World Cup in Castiglione Della Pescaia, Italy in early May.
For complete results and more information, visit UCI.ch.