By Paul D. Bowker | May 04, 2018, 12:01 a.m. (ET)
Shawn Morelli competes in the women's C4 3,000-meter individual pursuit at the Paralympic Games Rio 2016 at the Olympic Velodrome on Sept. 8, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro.

 

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Paralympic Games Rio 2016 champions Jamie Whitmore and Shawn Morelli, along with four-time Paralympic medalist Joseph Berenyi, are among the 24 U.S. cyclists who are in Ostend, Belgium, this week for the first Para-cycling road world cup of the 2018 season.

The first round of the UCI World Cup has drawn athletes from 38 nations. The circuit also includes stops in August in Emmen, Netherlands, and in Baie-Comeau, Canada.

The competition, which began Thursday, includes individual time trials on Friday, and two days of road races on Saturday and Sunday.

Whitmore, who won the women’s road race in Rio, is among the medal contenders in that event in Ostend.

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Morelli, a two-time Paralympic gold medalist, is coming off a season in which she won four world championship titles. Also on the women’s team is two-time Paralympic medalist Samantha Bosco.

Berenyi’s finishes in Rio included sixth place in the road time trial and 10th place in the road race. He won three track world championships in 2017.

The powerful U.S. squad is coming off a world championship in which it totaled 11 medals, including three golds. Morelli won two of those golds (C4 time trial and road race). 

Paul D. Bowker is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.