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  • Writer's pictureLinda Andrews - Editorial Assistant, Nuse Online

Tandemonium For Great Britain

The successes came thick and fast on day two of the 2024 UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships as Archie Atkinson delivered a stunning individual pursuit ride to take the rainbow jersey, while the women’s tandem 1km time-trial saw the British pairings fighting it out, with Lizzi Jordan and Danni Khan taking the top spot.

The women’s tandem time-trial saw three British pairings qualify in the top four places, heading into the evening’s final vying for some silverware. Last year’s bronze medallist Lizzi Jordan and debutant pilot Danni Khan clocked the quickest qualifying time with 1:07.85, just ahead of defending champions and teammates Sophie Unwin and Jenny Holl.

In a nail-biting final, Jordan and Khan held their own and delivered a blistering ride, beating Unwin and Holl’s time by just over half a second to earn their first set of rainbow stripes as a pair. Unwin and Holl secured their first medal of the championships with the silver, while Lora Fachie and pilot Corrine Hall just missed out, finishing in fourth place overall. On the win, Jordan said:

“It’s really special. It’s our first race together so to be on the top of the podium is incredible – we never would have dreamt of it. It’s really exciting and hopefully this is the start of a successful journey for me and Danni. We’ve set off on a bit of a high so hopefully we’ll keep it up!"

Khan added:

“It’s incredible and the last few weeks have been really turbulent as we’ve both had illnesses. We had a lot of doubt over what our form would be like so to be able to piece it together, back up both rides and come away with a gold medal is amazing."

"We can literally count the number of sessions we’ve done together on our hands so for our first world championships together in a Paralympic year is definitely a ‘pinch me’ moment!"

Archie Atkinson delivered a blistering time of 4:23.270 in the men’s C4 individual pursuit qualifying ride, almost six seconds faster than the defending world champion Kevin le Cunff, who he went on to catch in the gold medal ride off where he delivered another show-stopping performance. Teammate Jody Cundy unfortunately did not finish his ride but will return on Saturday to defend his title in the men’s 1km time-trial. After his win, Atkinson said:

“I’m pretty ecstatic to be a world champ, particularly in a Paralympic event too. A lot of hard work has gone in the past four or five months since moving onto the programme fully so it’s really nice that’s paid off."

"I was extremely nervous for the qualification because after getting a big PB at nationals, I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to do it again at worlds. It’s a big event and you have riders like Kevin [le Cunff] against you and you want to perform. It feels really special and it’s my first year on the GB squad so to get that time in a Paralympic year is quite exciting.”

After a strong performance in the women’s C1 500m time-trial, Katie Toft claimed the silver medal, clocking a time of 48.348 to secure her second medal of the championships. Daphne Schrager put down a strong time of 44.035 seconds in the women’s C2 500m time-trial, coming third fastest and heading comfortably into the evening’s final but just missed out on a medal to finish fourth. Teammate Amelia Cass finished seventh with a time of 48.673.

In the women’s omnium flying 200m qualifier, Kadeena Cox powered to the fastest time in the C4 category with 12.120, while Morgan Newberry rode a respectable time of 14.126 seconds to kick off the C5 omnium in 10th place. In the men’s equivalent, Jaco Van Gass clocked 10.989 to sit in second, one place ahead of teammate Fin Graham with a time of 11.579 in the C3 class. Matt Robertson sprinted his way to fourth in the C2 event, while Ryan Taylor finished in ninth.

In the men’s C5 individual pursuit qualifiers, Will Bjergfelt laid down a time of 4:32.051 to finish eighth, with teammate Blaine Hunt just behind in ninth on a time of 4:32.292.

After two days of competition, Great Britain now has four gold and four silver medals and sits at the top of the medal table, with three more days of competition to go.

Photo credit SWPix.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         


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