The Australian Para-cycling team has arrived in Los Angeles ahead of the 2017 UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships, 2-5 March 2017.

The Championships, which will be held at the VELO Sports Center in Carson in the west of Los Angeles, signify the first time in the history of the sport that a UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships will be held during the season following a Paralympic Games.

The 11-rider team arrived on Friday in Los Angeles and have settled into their hotel ahead of the Championships which begin on March 2.

“The team are all feeling good and excited to race,” said 2016 world champion and Paralympic bronze medallist Jessica Gallagher (VIC) who will team with pilot Stephanie Fernandez (NSW) in the women’s tandem.

“We have all been diligent with our recovery including team stretching sessions, recovery rides and of course the obligatory discovery of a good coffee spot not far from our hotel! It’s been a really relaxed but focused environment.”

The team spent a few days on the road and indoor while the UCI Track World Cup was held at the VeloSports Center over the weekend, with the team taking to the track on Monday for the first official session.

“With tight bends and longer straights everyone enjoyed being able to get out there and adapt to the different shape,” Gallagher said.

“In particular for our tandems, getting the feel, reactions and different lines needed is really important as the bike handling is quite different to a single bike.”

The team is a good blend of experienced riders including Paralympic champion David Nicholas (QLD) and dual 2016 Paralympic Games silver medallists Alistair Donohoe (VIC) and Kyle Bridgwood (QLD). 2016 Paralympic and world silver medallist Amanda Reid (NSW), dual 2012 world champion Simone Kennedy (NSW) will also line up.

Newcomers to the team include dual reigning national champion Darcy Thompson (SA) and Meg Lemon (SA), plus South Australia’s Kieran Murphy and Lachlan Glasspool (pilot) who will contest the men’s tandem.

“The team mood has been amazing,” Gallagher said.

“Everyone is quite relaxed, working hard and ensuring we take care of the final details pre-competition.

“We have fantastic coaches and support staff, a great hotel close to the track, and with a nice mix of experienced campaigners and debutants, we are all ready to get out there and give it everything!”

By Cycling Australia

Posted: 01/03/2017