Four Canadian para-cyclists on the podium in opening world cup time trial race

Croteau and Gautier dominate opening World Cup time trial
(Castiglione Della Pescaia, ITA – May 9, 2014) Canadian para-cyclists Shelley Gautierof Toronto and Marie-Ève Croteau of Québec City opened the 2014 UCI Para-Cycling Road World Cup on an excellent note, riding towards the top of the podium in Castiglione Della Pescaia, Italy.
In total, four Canadian athletes stepped on the podium at the end of the day, with Marie-Claude Molnar winning silver and Nicole Clermont taking the third place and bronze medal.
Croteau, two-time silver medallist from the 2013 Worlds and previous World Champion, is continuing her return to full performance readiness after a crash that occurred prior to the Paralympic Games in 2012. She rode her first time trial race of the 2014 World Cup tour to a time of 28:05.95, showing a 1:22 lead on her closest competitor.
“This was by far the best time trial of my life; certainly the best managed one. I was feeling really good before the start. My right leg is performing really well, producing lots of power and velocity that ensure my pedalling is good,” said Marie-Ève Croteau, after the race. “I am still in catch-up mode, but this result means I am finding back my ways and performance from before my crash prior to the London 2012 Paralympic Games. I still have lots of work to accomplish, but it certainly bodes well.”
In the women’s T1 race, Gautier continued her World Cup success in this opening race of 2014. The 2013 World Cup Champion stopped the clock at 35:09.18 to take the win. Gautier dominated the race, finishing the race with an astonishing seven-minute gap over the silver medallist.
“I have trained hard and mentally prepared for this race. I am learning how to ride faster for longer periods of time,” said Gautier after the race. “I am proud to be riding faster than last year. Thanks to my coaches and the members of my team who helped me prepare for this World Cup race.”
Marie-Claude Molnar of St-Hubert posted the second fastest time among the women C4 category. Molnar crossed the finishing line with a time of 23:51.59, showing a 1:21 deficit over winner Shawn Morelli of the United States of America. The result is an encouraging sign for Molnar who has battled illness in most of April which hindered her preparations.
In the women C5 time trial, Nicole Clermont of St-Denis-de-Brompton finished in third place, crossing the finish line with a time deficit of 1:31 over the winner, Poland’s Anna Harkowska. The strong result for Clermont is her second career podium and her career best time trial performance.
Robert Labbé of Québec raced to the fastest time of the H1 category, but a decision was taken to reclassify Labbé to the H2 category. The reclassification led to his result being transferred to the H2 standings, the ninth place of his new category.
The competition continues Saturday and Sunday with the road races and team relay for all categories.
1. CROTEAU, Marie-Eve [CANADA] 28:05.95
2. MAJUNKE, Jana [GERMANY] +1:22.58
3. DE HEIDE, Lisette [INDEPENDENT] +4:14.56
1. GAUTIER, Shelley [CANADA] 35:09.18
2. DOLEZALOVA, Karolina [CZECH REPUBLIC] +7:08.71
3. RAVASCO, Johanna [INDEPENDENT] +29:37.77
1. MORELLI, Shawn [USA] 22:29.98
2. MOLNAR, Marie-Claude [CANADA] +1:21.61
3. AMICI, Alessandra [ITALY] +3:23.18
1. HARKOWSKA, Anna [POLAND] 20:54.87
2. HEINRICH, Samantha [USA] +1:16.92
3. CLERMONT, Nicole [CANADA] +1:31.42

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