By the numbers - track cycling worlds
The 2015 UCI Para-Cycling Track Cycling World Championships begin on tomorrow in Apeldoorn, Netherlands and conclude on March 29. Team USA looks to defend titles, earn firsts or redeem tough losses. Here’s a look at some of the important numbers going into competition:
2,316: One would expect a tandem bicycle pair to at least live in the same state and not with over 2,000 miles apart. That’s how many miles separate Clark Rachfal (Annapolis, Maryland) and Dave Swanson (Tucson, Arizona) and yet they manage to be one of the most unstoppable tandems in the world. They began training together in 2007 and last year won bronze in the 4-kilometer pursuit at worlds.
9: Team USA closed out the 2014 UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships in Aguascalientes, Mexico with the total medal count at nine. Two gold, three silver and four bronze medals.
7:The number of returning athletes who medaled at the last world championships. Jamie Whitmore (Mt. Aukum, California) will look to defend her title as world champion, competing in the C3 class for the 500-meter time trial and 3-kilometer pursuit. Berenyi, Jones, Rachfal and Swanson, Jennifer Schuble (Birmingham, Alabama) and Greta Neimanas (Chicago, Illinois) will also look to medal again.
3: This will be the first track world championship for three road world champions on the roster. Shawn Moreli (Leavenworth, Kansas) and Aaron Keith (Woodinville, Washington) are no strangers to cycling hardware, earning 13 medals between them, though most of those have been earned on the road. Megan Fisher won a medal on the track at the London 2012 Paralympic Games, and won the 2012 world time trial title on the road in 2014, but this will be her first appearance at the Track World Championships .This year, all three hope to add some track cycling world championships medals to their resumes.
2: Since 2002, Allison Jones (Colorado Springs, Colorado) has been a two-sport athlete and competed in seven Paralympic Games. That all changed late last year when she retired from alpine skiing to focus on cycling. This will be her first world championship not coming off the grueling alpine skiing season or a Paralympic Winter Games.
.039: The time difference between Joe Berenyi’s (Oswego, Illinois) fourth place finish and Diedrick Schelfhout of Belgium’s third place finish in the 1000m time trial (C3) at 2014 worlds. If they raced head-to-head, their wheels would have been separated less than the width of a dime at the finish line. Both Berenyi and Schelfhout will be back this year looking to claim their spot on the podium. Team USA had two other extremely close finishes for fourth place.