Team USA Closes Track Cycling Worlds With Historic Team Sprint Gold

By Olivia Truby | March 05, 2017, 8:46 p.m. (ET)

(L-R) Jason Kimball, Joe Berenyi and Chris Murphy compete in the team sprint at the 2017 UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships.

  • Jason Kimball, Joe Berenyi and Chris Murphy won gold in the team sprint
  • Joe Berenyi won his third world title of the championships in the C1-3 scratch race
  • Team USA topped the medal chart with 18 medals, including 10 gold, 4 silver and 4 bronze

LOS ANGELES – For the first time in the program’s history, the U.S won gold in the team sprint at the 2017 UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships on the final day of competition at the VELO Sports Center in Carson, California.

Team USA finished atop the medal standings with 18 medals (10 gold, 4 silver, 4 bronze). The 18-medal haul well surpassed the previous team best of 12 medals from the 2015 edition of the championships.

Team USA broke the fourth-place curse in the team sprint as the trio of Jason Kimball (Charlotte, North Carolina), Joe Berenyi (Oswego, Illinois) and Chris Murphy (Rancho Cucamonga, California) maintained the lead throughout to take the gold. At the past five world championships, the U.S. team finished just shy of the podium with fourth-place finishes. The win marks the first-ever international team sprint title for the U.S., and only the second podium finish in the event, as the team won bronze at the Paralympic Games in London.

“The team sprint win is a huge deal,” said Ian Lawless, high performance director for U.S. Paralympics Cycling. “For our current program, it’s been four years in the making. To have our first win here in Los Angeles is huge. It’s huge for the athletes, it's huge for the team, and it's huge for our program. I think it will give us a lot of momentum as we look to Tokyo and beyond.”

Only hours after the team sprint, Berenyi returned to the track to win the men’s C1-3 15-kilometer scratch race and claimed his fourth medal of the championships. Berenyi’s victory was an improvement from his silver-medal finish in the same event in 2015, and completed Berenyi’s career collection of a world title in every event.

Over the four days of competition in Los Angeles, more than 70 competitors from 20 nations competed for top bragging rights in the time trial, individual pursuit, 200-meter sprint, scratch race and team sprint.

“The fact that we were able to host the championships here in LA is really important in terms of the viability of track cycling at the Paralympic Games,” Lawless said. “So we were really happy to work with the UCI, even though it was put together in a short period of time. And it’s always great to come back to LA. From what I hear from the coaches and athletes from other nations, they love coming to California. They love coming to Los Angeles.”

QUOTES

Joe Berenyi

“The team sprint was super exciting. Chris Murphy had won his first world title in the kilo. Jason Kimball has been with the program so long. We put the right combination together for the team sprint and we were confident we could do really well. Everything was firing on all cylinders. So it means more to win as a team, than individually. It’s phenomenal.”

Jason Kimball
“For me, my word is overwhelming. It’s unbelievable. I’ve been working towards a team sprint spot for about four years now. To do it here at home is just amazing.”

Chris Murphy
“It’s unbelievable. That’s the one that I wanted, out of all of these. It’s the one that makes me the happiest. To do it as a team is incredible. It’s amazing.

“We’ve had so many near misses. To actually not only medal, but to take it all is huge. It’s so validating for all the years of hard work.”

OVERALL MEDAL COUNT
Team USA: 18
Joe Berenyi: 3 gold (C3 1km Time Trial, Team Sprint, C1-3 Scratch Race), 1 silver (C3 3km Individual Pursuit)
Chris Murphy: 2 gold (C5 1km Time Trial, Team Sprint), 1 bronze (C5 4km Individual Pursuit)
Shawn Morelli: 2 golds (C4 500m Time Trial, 4km Individual Pursuit)
Jamie Whitmore: 2 golds (C3 500m Time Trial, C1-3 Scratch Race)
Jennifer Schuble: 1 gold (C5 500m Time Trial), 1 silver (C5 4km Individual Pursuit), 1 bronze (C4-5 Scratch Race)
Samantha Bosco: 1 gold (C5 4km Individual Pursuit)
J
ason Kimball: 1 gold (Team Sprint)
Aaron Keith: 1 silver (C2 3km Individual Pursuit)
Billy Lister: 1 silver (C1 3km Individual Pursuit)
Todd Key: 1 bronze (C1 1km Time Trial)
Chester Triplett, Stephen Pedone: 1 bronze (Tandem 4km Individual Pursuit)

RESULTS
Complete results are available on the UCI website.