TORONTO – On a course overlooking Lake Ontario, Team USA kicked off cycling competition at the Toronto 2015 Parapan American Games with six medals, including a one-two finish from Will Groulx (Portland, Oregon) and Brian Sheridan (Clarkston, Michigan) in the H1-2 class.
Groulx, fresh off two 2015 UCI Para-cycling World Championships silver medals in Switzerland last week, finished two seconds ahead of teammate Sheridan to earn gold – the pair crossed the finish line more than eight minutes ahead of the third-place medalist. The race included a combination of men and women competitors and various classifications (MH1-2 and WH1-5).
“I had a great race. The conditions were perfect, not too hot,” Groulx said. “And I was able to race with my teammate the entire time which was awesome.”
Groulx and Sheridan both attributed teamwork to their success in this stepping stone on the road to the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.
“I have a ton of gratitude for our support staff and my teammate, who carried me through this whole race.” Sheridan said. “It was a great race for the Parapan American Games, but also as a trial run for Rio.”
Ryan Boyle (Colorado Springs, Colorado) secured the first medal of the day with silver in the mixed T1-2 class with a time of 1:01:21, in which Jill Walsh (Syracuse, New York) was the first female finisher in fourth place.
Will Lachenauer (Reno, Nevada) faced a tough pair of Canadians in the men’s H3-5 class – he finished 19 seconds behind the leader and squeaked past Charles Moreaux at the line to claim the silver medal.
“I had the pleasure of racing with our friends from the north [Canada], and each race is definitely made by your competition. The whole time we were trying to figure out who was going to be in it at the end, and both the Canadians were super strong on the hill.” Lachenauer said. “Tough race, but a beautiful course. You couldn’t beat the town of Toronto – best course I’ve ever raced on.”
In the women’s C1-5 race, the top-four finishers were separated by five seconds, with Samantha Heinrich (Spring Hill, Florida) sealing the win in 1:21:07, a split second ahead of Mariela Delgado of Argentina. Shawn Morelli (Leavenworth, Kansas) finished five seconds later in fourth place, followed by Jamie Whitmore (Mount Aukum, California) in sixth and Allison Jones (Colorado Springs, Colorado) in seventh.
Joe Berenyi (Aurora, Illinois) rounded out today’s gold-medal push as the top finisher in the men’s C1-3 class, with a dramatic sprint at the line to beat out two Colombian competitors by just one second. Aaron Keith (Woodinville, Washington) and Todd Key (Scottsdale, Arizona) finished in sixth and ninth place, respectively.
In the men’s C4-5 race, Chris Murphy (Colorado Springs, Colorado) and Scott Martin (Oceanside, California) finished sixth and eighth among a pack of six competitors that all sprinted across the line at 2:06:29.
Team USA’s cyclist will Road competition resumes Thursday, Aug. 13, with the time trial. For complete results and more information, visit TeamUSA.org/ParapanAm.