U.S. cyclists win two time trial golds at Para-cycling world championships

By Katie Branham | July 30, 2015, 8:38 a.m. (ET)

Shawn Morelli won Team USA's first rainbow jersey of the world championships

NOTTWIL, Switzerland – On the first day of individual racing, Team USA saw two athletes crowned as world champions, with six total podium finishes in the time trial at the 2015 UCI Para-cycling Road World Championships.

Shawn Morelli (Leavenworth, Kansas) won Team USA’s first world title of the championships in the women’s C4 time trial. Morelli’s win was especially notable given that she was unable to ride her time trial bike. When a crack was discovered in the bike’s frame late the night before the race, her only option was to race on her road bike. 

“I just tried to refocus myself after I was told that I wasn’t going to have my time trial bike,” Morelli said. “I did my normal warmup and thought about all of the training and preparation that I’ve done all year. It doesn’t matter what bike I ride; I’m strong. I just laid it out there, decided I was going to let it go and race the bike that I had and I wanted to win.”

In spite of her equipment problems, Morelli bested her closest competitor, Alexandra Green of Australia by 44 seconds. Megan Fisher (Missoula, Montana) rounded out the C4 podium to grab the bronze medal.

Jamie Whitmore (Mount Aukum, California) successfully defended her C3 time trial world title as she took the win by more than a minute.

In the women’s C2 race, seven-time Paralympian Allison Jones (Colorado Springs, Colorado) won silver.

In the trike classes, Team USA’s athletes won two medals with Jill Walsh (Syracuse, New York) winning silver and Ryan Boyle (Marietta, Georgia) taking bronze. In the men’s T2 class, Boyle edged out Nestor Ayala Ayala of Columbia by less than two seconds to grab the final podium position. Walsh’s silver in the women’s T2 class improves her bronze-medal finish from the same event at the 2014 championships.

Other notable performances came from Aaron Keith (Woodinville, Washington) who finished fifth in the men’s C2 race; Samantha Heinrich (Spring Hill, Florida) who took fifth in the women’s C5 race and the tandem duo of Aaron Scheidies (Farmington, Michigan) and pilot Colin Riley (Cincinnati, Ohio) who finished sixth out of a field of more than 20 men.

With Wednesday’s silver medal from the handcycle relay, Team USA now owns seven medals (two gold, three silver, two bronze).

Competition resumes tomorrow with the handcycle time trials and runs through Sunday, Aug. 2. For complete results and more information, visit www.UCI.ch