The Australian Cycling Team collected 12 medals, including three rainbow jerseys, at the 2018 UCI Para-cycling Road World Championships in Maniago, Italy.
Bathurst’s Emilie Miller (H1 Handcycle) won time trial and road race gold, while Melbourne’s Alistair Donohoe (C5) claimed his third career road world title.
The Victorian trio of Carol Cooke (T2 – Tricycle) and Hannah Macdougall (C4) won dual silver in the road race and time trial, as did debutant Kaitlyn Schurmann (C1).
Kyle Bridgwood and Meg Lemon won bronze in the C4 time trial finals, with Darren Hicks claiming bronze in the C2 road race.
For Donohoe, 23, a stunning solo victory in the C5 road race gave him his third road rainbow jersey from the last four World Championships.
The 2014 and 2015 road world champion was part of a three-rider breakaway for most of the race before his attack on the pair inside the final few kilometres went unanswered.
“It was super aggressive in the first two laps, then on the last lap I hit the pair before the fast run into town, and from there it was just head down to the finish, and I managed to hold them off,” said Donohoe, who won by twenty seconds.
“Winning solo is always a rarity especially being someone who prefers the sprints, and my first victory since Rio. After having some health and injury problems last season, it was just so, so, so good to get back on top.
“And in my favourite event, this is a fantastic win. In a typically Australian way, I’m stoked.”
Miller, 23, is still coming to terms with her dual gold medal performance.
“I don’t think it has sunk in yet, it’s a humbling experience,” said Miller. “It felt amazing to pull on the rainbow jersey, and I was thrilled to see the hard training paying off.
“I felt it was my best race on an international stage so far. I felt I rode a very good race technically by choosing good lines, and I surprised myself with how strong I was on the climbs and had a strong, fast finish to the race.”
While the only rider in her category at the World Championships, Millar praised Cycling Australia for allowing the opportunity to represent her country on the international stage.
“I am very proud to be the only woman in my class at this World Championships. Other countries have riders in this class, and they haven’t brought them to compete, so I’m grateful for the support that Cycling Australia has given me to be able to represent my country.”
Seven-time world champion Cooke was content with her dual silver medal-winning performance.
“I came into these World Championships hoping to bring home the world champion stripes, and I was in the best shape of my life,” said Cooke, who finished behind the USA’s Jill Walsh in both races. “I had my race plans in place and rode them perfectly, gave everything that I had. Unfortunately for me, someone else, Jill was faster on both days.
“But I am very proud to have done my best, and for me that is the success, doing my best in any race. Two silver medals aren’t too shabby! I am very happy to have been on the podium.”
A leader on and off the bike, Cooke, 56, recognised the growth and improving quality of tricycle racing, while also revealing the results of her teammates inspire her.
“The trike class is growing and becoming stronger, and I am happy to be part of that growth.
“It has just made me hungrier for the next racing against Jill which will happen in a couple of weeks away in Canada at the last World Cup.
“It was also great to see my teammates do so well, Kaitlyn Schurmann in her first ever World Championship taking two silver and Emilie Miller winning two gold! Watching them ride is so inspiring.”
Cooke also paid tribute to Cycling Australia’s retiring Technical Director of Para-cycling, Peter Day.
“We have an amazing team which has been put together by Peter over the last 10 years, and it is with a heavy heart that we will be saying goodbye to his leadership in September.
However, we all wish him the best in his retirement, and I am sure that his wife Cheryl will be more than happy to have him at home!”
Like Cooke, Macdougall was ecstatic with her dual podium appearance in the road race and time trial.
“I am feeling absolutely awesome, am super stoked to pick up two silvers, and it was even more special to share the time trial podium with my Aussie teammate Meg,” said Macdougall.
“The time trial was one of the most interesting and scenic courses we have had – not that I got to take a lot of it in. I raced and paced it well, crossing the line knowing I had given it everything I had.
“I am super proud of the race and of my performance, 200% improvement on my total career medals.
“But results like that aren’t an individual effort and I am so grateful to our support team.”
Official results: visit the UCI website.
2018 Australian Cycling Team – UCI Para Road World Championships Summary
- Kyle Bridgwood (QLD) C4 – Bronze time trial; 12th road race
- Meg Lemon (SA) C4 – Bronze time trial; 4th road race
- Hannah Macdougall (VIC) C4 – Silver road race & time trial
- David Nicholas (QLD) C3 – 5th road race; 6th time trial
- Darren Hicks (SA) C2 – Bronze road race; 4th time trial
- Kaitlyn Schurmann (VIC) C1 – Silver road race & time trial
- Stuart Jones (NSW) T2 – 9th time trial
- Carol Cooke (VIC) T2 – Silver road race & time trial
- Grant Allan (SA) H4 – 8th road race; 18th time trial
- Alistair Donohoe (VIC) C5 – Gold road race; 4th time trial
- Kieran Murphy & Lachlan Glasspool (SA) Tandem – 9th time trial
- Grant Nickel (NSW) H1 – 10th road race & time trial
- Emilie Miller (NSW) H1 – Gold road race & time trial
- Stuart Tripp (VIC) H5 – 5th road race & time trial
By Cycling Australia