Silver medals galore for Great Britain on day two of World Para-Cycling Road Championships
It rained silver medals on day two of the UCI Para-cycling Road World Championships as Great Britain’s stars took the time trials by storm in South Africa.
Making his international debut, Ben Watson took C3 silver to kickstart the day for Great Britain in Pietermaritzburg, before the tandem duos of Steve Bate and Adam Duggleby, and Lora Fachie and Corrine Hall, added two more to the haul.
Watson started his World Championship career in fine style, holding first place after the opening lap and clocking the fastest time in 10:49 minutes.
He had lost his lead, however, by the end of the second lap, Canada’s Paralympic bronze medallist Michael Sametz opening up an eight-second advantage.
It was a gap Watson couldn’t close, eventually crossing the line 37 seconds behind Sametz in a time of 33:26.110 to seal the silver medal, with Esneider Munoz Marin of Colombia winning bronze.
To have won a medal at my first world championships is an amazing feeling." Ben Watson
"I'm pretty stoked to get a medal. I set off a little too hard on the first lap but felt like I controlled my pace pretty well after that,” he said.
"I knew the Canadian rider was going to be strong and would take some beating. My legs felt great in the warm up and I certainly felt like I could be competitive.
"I only attended my first British Cycling talent I.D camp in October last year so to have won a medal at my first world championships is an amazing feeling."
Silver in the Men’s B Time Trial also marked a maiden World Championships medal – on either road or track – for Bate and pilot Duggleby, who won double gold and bronze at last year’s Paralympic Games in Rio.
They stopped the clock in a time of 39:20.930 to take the second spot on the podium, just 3.66 seconds behind champions Marcin Polak and Michal Ladosz of Poland.
It was bittersweet for the British duo, however, having suffered a mechanical on the start line that cost them 25 seconds.
A third silver came Great Britain’s way in the Women’s B Time Trial, with Fachie and Hall missing out to Irish pair Katie-George Dunlevy and Eve McCrystal by just 5.45 seconds.
Earlier in the day, double Paralympic medallist Crystal Lane-Wright suffered a mechanical to finish fifth in the C5 Time Trial, 2:14 minutes behind champion Anna Harkowska, while Simon Price finished ninth in the men’s C2 race.
Another World Championships debutant, Will Bjergfelt, took sixth place in the C5 race, finishing 2:04 behind the winner Daniel Abraham Gebru, while on Thursday, there was also a sixth-place finish for Craig Collis-McCann in the T2.