14 January 2019

Home comforts for Great Britain with golds galore in Manchester

Neil Fachie and Matt Rotherham led a golden three days for Great Britain at the Manchester Para-Cycling International with two victories, as home riders enjoyed a weekend to remember in front of a home crowd.

The pair got the ball rolling in spectacular fashion on Friday night, blasting around the velodrome in the men’s B tandem category and setting a new world best time of 59.422s.

The record is subject to ratification, but without anti-doping present it will not officially be eligible to topple Fachie’s record of 59.460s with pilot Pete Mitchell.

The pair then returned on Sunday to beat teammates James Ball and Mitchell in the men’s B tandem sprint.

Fachie and Rotherham were not the only athletes to win two golds, with exciting young prospect Fin Graham also topping the podium twice and adding a further silver and bronze.

Graham started on day one with gold in the C1-3 1km time trial, where he clocked an impressive 1:09.972 to finish just over three tenths of a second clear of France’s Alexandre Leaute and Spain’s Eduardo Santas Asensio.

He came back 24 hours later to win the individual pursuit, controlling proceedings from start to finish in a time of 3:34.436.

Another exciting prospect, 19-year-old Matthew Robertson, finished runner-up to Graham with Ben Watson rounding off an all-British podium.

Graham also took bronze in Sunday’s C1-3 scratch race, with Watson going on to win gold.

Robertson then partnered Jon-Allan Butterworth and Jody Cundy to take the top step in the mixed team sprint, ahead of compatriots Graham, Kadeena Cox and Jon Gildea.

Kadeena Cox won two golds in Manchester

Thornhill and Scott run riot

That was Cox’s second medal of the competition after she romped to victory in the women’s 500m time trial on Saturday.

Sophie Thornhill and Helen Scott also claimed two golds, firstly in the women’s B tandem on Friday before coming back to add the sprint title on Sunday, while Megan Giglia silver in the women’s C1-3 500m time trial and a bronze in the C3 pursuit.

World champion Crystal Lane-Wright continued her dominance with gold in the C5 race on Sunday before claiming silver in the women’s C1-5 scratch race – a result matched by William Bjergfelt in the men’s C4-5 scratch race.

That was Bjergfelt’s second podium position of the weekend after he finished third in the C5 pursuit on Saturday, behind fellow Brit Gildea – who claimed gold.

Elsewhere, Lora Fachie and Corinne Hall won gold in the women’s B 3000m Pursuit, while fellow world champions Steve Bate and Adam Duggleby took gold in the men’s on Saturday.

On day one, following Fachie and Rotherham’s world record, there was success across the board - sparked by Graham in the C1-3 1km time trial and backed up by Thornhill and Scott in the women’s B tandem.

Four-time Paralympic cycling gold medallist Cundy also send the British crowd into even more of a frenzy as he powered to gold in the C4-5 1km time trial – maintaining his decade-long unbeaten record in the event.

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