Carol Cooke (VIC) secured her second world title in three days after claiming victory in the road race on Saturday at the 2017 UCI Para-cycling World Championships in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa.
In emphatic style, Cooke took T2 gold in a time of 51mins 07secs, edging her key rivals Jana Majunke (GER) and Jill Walsh (USA) in second and third respectively.
The 2013 and 2014 champion in the event, Cooke was determined to regain the title after winning silver in 2015.
“The women have gotten a lot stronger in the past two years, and today’s racing was really hard,” said Cooke.
“But I really wanted to wear the rainbow jersey again and I am very happy with my win today!”
This win comes off the back of a standout twelve months for Cooke who claimed two gold medals at the Rio 2016 Paralympics Games, three gold, two silver and one bronze during the 2017 World Cup season, and both national championship crowns earlier this year.
In other road race results, Grant Nickel (H1, NSW) narrowly missed the podium to take fourth place.
In Friday’s time trials Australia collected three medals, with reigning C4 world champion Kyle Bridgwood (QLD) finishing just 12.06secs off the top spot to take silver behind Slovakia’s Jozef Metelka.
Darren Hicks (C2, SA) raced the clock to come away with a hard-earned silver medal and Meg Lemon (C4, SA) rode hard against the wind to secure bronze on debut.
“It’s very cliche but it’s been a dream since I first started that one day I would be good enough to ride for Australia, so just making the team was pretty surreal,” said Hicks.
“Never in my wildest dreams did I see myself, in my first world champs, making the podium, it’s just unreal!”
Lemon’s podium comes off the back of a breakthrough 2017 World Cup campaign, from which she rode away with three golds.
“Considering I couldn’t even ride a bike two years ago, to be standing up on that podium was the icing on the cake and I would not have got anywhere near this without the support I have been given from everyone along my journey,” said Lemon.
Schedule and Results
Day 1 IRTT
H1 (15.5 km) – Emilie Miller (NSW) 1st
T2 (15.5 km) – Carol Cooke (VIC) Gold
H5 (23.3 km) – Stuart Tripp (VIC) 4th
H1 (15.5 km) – Grant Nickel (NSW) 6th
Day 2 IRTT
C3 (23.3 km) – David Nicholas (QLD) 9th
C2 (23.3 km) – Darren Hicks (SA) Silver
C1 (23.3 km) – Darcy Thompson (SA) 7th
C4 (23.3 km) – Meg Lemon (SA) Bronze, Hannah Macdougall (VIC) 4th
C3 (15.5 km) – Simone Kennedy (NSW) 5th
B (31.0 km) – Kieran Murphy (SA) & Lachlan Glasspool, Pilot (SA) 10th
C5 (31.0 km) – Alistair Donohoe (VIC) 8th
C4 (31.0 km) – Kyle Bridgwood (QLD) Silver
Day 3 Road Races
H1 (24.3 km) – Emilie Miller (NSW) 1st
H1 (30.4 km) – Grant Nickel (NSW) 4th
T2 (24.3 km) – Carol Cooke (VIC) Gold
H5 (60.7 km) – Stuart Tripp (VIC) DNS
Day 4 Road Races
C1-3 (48.6 km) – Simone Kennedy (NSW)
C4-5 (60.7 km) – Meg Lemon (SA), Hannah Macdougall (VIC)
C4-5 (85.0 km) – Alistair Donohoe (VIC), Kyle Bridgwood (QLD)
C1-3 (60.7 km) – David Nicholas (QLD), Darren Hicks (SA), Darcy Thompson (SA)
B (109.3 km) – Kieran Murphy (SA) & Lachlan Glasspool, Pilot (SA)
By Cycling Australia
Photo with thanks to Andrew McFadden/Cycling Australia