Will Groulx becomes the world champion in the MH2 road race at the UCI Para-cycling Road World Championships in Maniago, Italy.
MANIAGO, Italy – Bringing the team medal total to 12 with one day of competition remaining, Team USA’s Ryan Boyle (Monroe, Connecticut) and Jill Walsh (Syracuse, New York) each secured their second world titles in as many days at the 2018 UCI Para-cycling Road World Championships in Maniago, Italy on Saturday.
Paralympic silver medalist Boyle and two-time Paralympic silver medalist Walsh continued to dominate in the men’s and women’s T2 class during the world championships, winning gold in the road race to sweep both events. Boyle outpaced his field, finishing nearly 50 seconds ahead of the next-best finisher from Spain.
Six-time Paralympic medalist Will Groulx (Portland, Oregon) raced to become world champion in the MH2 road race. Marking his first world title since he won the time trial in 2014, Groulx secured his first-ever world crown in the road race. Also returning home with a silver medal in the time trial, Groulx will seek to win his third medal of the world championships in the handcycle relay on Sunday.
Following his gold-medal time trial race yesterday, six-time Paralympic medalist Oz Sanchez (San Diego, California) raced to the silver medal in MH5 road race, while Paralympic silver medalist Alicia Dana (Putney, Vermont) finished second in the WH3 road race. Dana also returns home with a silver medal in the WH3 time trial.
Competition concludes tomorrow with additional road races and the team relay.
ADDITIONAL TOP-10 FINISHES ON SATURDAY
10th: Travis Gaertner (Burien, Wash.) – MH4
OVERALL MEDAL COUNT
Team USA: 12
Ryan Boyle: 2 gold (MT2 time trial, road race)
Jill Walsh: 2 gold (WT2 time trial, road race)
Will Groulx: 1 gold (MH2 road race); 1 silver (time trial)
Oz Sanchez: 1 gold (MH5 time trial); 1 silver (road race)
Shawn Morelli: 1 gold (WC4 time trial)
Alicia Dana: 2 silver (WH3 time trial, road race)
Jamie Whitmore: 1 bronze (WC3 time trial)
On his strategy heading into the road race…
“It’s about having a few different game plans to implement but ultimately things happen out on the road, so being able to adapt to whatever happens. It’s the first time we’ve raced together with the women in a long time. It also gave me the opportunity to race and ride with my teammate Alicia.”
On if things went as planned…
“My number one plan was to do as little work as I possibly could. Whether it came down to a sprint or waiting for an opportunity to move in and attack. The Italians made it very difficult to work as little as possible because they were attacking in the climbs. They pushed the pace hard.”
On winning a world title for the first time since 2014…
”I’ve been working for this since 2014. It’s been a long time. I didn’t want it (the title in 2014) to be a one and done. Unfortunately, I have this guy (Italy’s Luca Mazzone) that I race against who is the best in the world. He doesn’t make it easy. He shows up every time. He’s an awesome competitor so it makes it really special to get one and hear our national anthem.”
On how the gold medal feels…
“It feels pretty sweet. I’m super stoked, but at the same time, it’s a team win. Today, with the conditions, I heard multiple competitors say the heat impacted their race. Our coaches did a great job out there with feeds and water and keeping us cool, and that played a really big part in the race.”
On the conditions during the race…
“It’s an absolutely beautiful course. I love the course. It suits me very well but it was hot. I can’t describe it. There’s one flat section where you’re in the sun and you can just feel the heat coming off the pavement. I looked down and my heart rate was 195. It was hot. It was great that they had feeds and water sections because that’s your saving grace to have water thrown on you.”
On how it feels to be a two-time world champion this year…
“It doesn’t get any better than that. The fact that Ryan (Boyle) and I did it together makes it that much better. I was hurting in this race, but I listened to what Coach (Sarah) Hammer said, and I made my move exactly when she told me to.”
On his goals coming into world championships…
“My goals were to really win the time trial, but once I did, I needed to get the road race. That just ignited my flame even more.”
On leaving as a two-time world champion…
“It’s kind of starting to set it. It’s so unbelievable that I’m just in a fog. When I’m telling people that I’ll be in rainbow jerseys next year for all my races, it’s like ‘wow, I’m in rainbows for everything.’”
A live stream of the 2018 UCI Para-cycling Road World Championships can be found here.
Full results from the 2018 UCI Para-cycling Road World Championships can be found here. Follow U.S. Paralympics on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook for updated information during the event.