The Australian Cycling Team is winding down preparations ahead of the 2018 UCI Para-cycling Road World Championships which begin this Thursday 2 August in Maniago, Italy.
The team has reunited for the first time since May’s opening round of the Para-cycling Road World Cup in Belgium which opened the qualification process for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.
The team grabbed 12 medals in Belgium, including gold to Carole Cooke, Darren Hicks, Stuart Tripp, Meg Lemon and Kyle Bridgwood, with Cooke adding to the tally gold and silver at the second round in the Netherlands.
At the World Championships, the team will be headlined by seven-time and dual reigning world champion Cooke, 2015 time trial world champion Bridgwood, 2016 Paralympic gold medallist David Nicholas and dual road world champion Alistair Donohoe.
Donohoe, the 2014 and 2015 road world champion, is chasing nothing less than rainbows in Italy and will line up in the men’s C5 road race and time trial from August 2.
“Of course, the goal is to bring home some stripes,” Donohoe said. “The road race is, of course, my bread and butter event, and I would love more than anything to take that one out and stand on the top step.”
While the team features some of the biggest names in Para-cycling, there have been two riders quietly making names for themselves in households across the country.
South Australian duo Darren Hicks and Meg Lemon announced themselves at the 2017 UCI Para-cycling Road World Championships when on their debut, they clinched dual silver and dual bronze respectively.
“We’ve put in a lot of hard work since Belgium working on both skills and fitness in preparation for these World Champs,” said Lemon, who will contest the women’s C4 road race and time trial from Friday. “Our coach believes he’s worked us harder than ever, so I’m hoping the hard work will pay off here.”
For Darren Hicks who will race the men’s C2 road race and time trial, his 2018 season has been almost flawless with dual national titles in January, followed by World Cup gold in May.
“It’s been a dream start to the road season, but we have worked on a few things since Belgium and have made some nice gains in a couple of areas,” said Hicks. “Going backwards and staying stagnant aren’t options so that only leaves climbing one step higher on the podium!”
Racing begins at 11:30pm AEST on Thursday 2 August with the time trials which continue on Friday from 5pm AEST. Saturday and Sunday will feature the road races from 5pm AEST.
For official start lists and results, visit the UCI website.
2018 Australian Cycling Team – UCI Para-cycling Road World Championships
- Kyle Bridgwood (QLD) C4
- Meg Lemon (SA) C4
- Hannah Macdougall (VIC) C4
- David Nicholas (QLD) C3
- Darren Hicks (SA) C2
- Kaitlyn Schurmann (VIC) C1
- Stuart Jones (NSW) T2
- Carol Cooke (VIC) T2
- Grant Allan (SA) H4
- Alistair Donohoe (VIC) C5
- Kieran Murphy & Lachlan Glasspool – Pilot (SA) Tandem
- Grant Nickel (NSW) H1
- Emilie Miller (NSW) H1
- Stuart Tripp (VIC) H5
By Cycling Australia