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12 medals including 8 golds for Team GB Paralympic cyclists

Shannon Kennedy
13 Sep 2016

With the track racing over at the Rio Paralympics, Great Britain finish with a table-topping medal haul


The track cycling at the Rio Paralympics has proven to be even more successful than at the preceding Olympic Games for Team GB, with a total medal tally of 12 medals being won, including 8 golds.

The racing kicked off on the 8th September, with the pursuit contests. Megan Giglia won gold in the women's C1-2-3 3000m individual pursuit, before Sarah Storey and Crystal Lane took gold and silver respectively in the C5 3000m pursuit and Steve Bate won gold in the men's B 4000m pursuit.

Day two consisted of more individual events, with sprinters Sophie Thornhill and Jody Cundy taking gold in the women's B 1000m time trial and men's C4-5 1000m time trial respectively. Louis Rolfe then backed things up with bronze in the men's C2 3000m time trial later in the day.

Kadeena Cox set a new world record in winning gold in the women's C4-5 500m time trial - a feat made even more remarkable by the fact the victory came less than 24 hours after Cox had run to a bronze medal in an athletics event, the women's T38 100m sprint. 

On the final day of racing, the 11th September, Neil Fachie took silver in the men's B 1000m time trial, before Sophie Thornhill added to her tally by taking bronze in the B 3000m individual pursuit, and Lora Turnham won gold in the event. 

The final event of the week was the men's C1-5 750m team sprint, and it was the Great Britain team of Louis Rolfe, Jon-Allan Butterworth and Jody Cundy who were the victors, setting a new world record of 48.635 in the process. 


On Monday, Mark Cavendish began the second day of the omnium with the kilo, in which he placed sixth with a time of 1:02.86. He bettered his chances for the podium by later coming third in the flying lap. Despite his best efforts to escape off the front and gain a lap during the points race, the best he could manage was fourth through a multitude of sprint primes. He finished second overall, earning a silver, his first ever Olympic medal.

Laura Trott competed in the women’s omnium, placing first in both the elimination race and the individual pursuit, as well earning second place in the scratch race. Overall, she earned her place at the top of the podium with her second gold medal of the Rio games. She is now Britain’s most successful female athlete, with four gold medals to her name. 

Jason Kenny, Trott’s fiancé, also came away with more Olympic glory. Soon after Trott’s win at the omnium, Kenny took to the track to compete in the men’s keirin. Finishing in first place, he has gained his third gold medal in Rio. He now has six gold medals, equalling the tally of Sir Chris Hoy. Between them, Kenny and Trott now boast 10 Olympic medals. 

Rebecca James added to the Team GB target of 48 medals overall in Rio by taking silver in the women’s sprint with Katy Marchant close behind earning a bronze medal. 

In total Team GB have earned 12 Olympic medals through cycling. 11 on the track and Chris Froome earned a bronze in the road time trial, making this the most successful year overseas for the Team GB cyclists. 


The men’s team pursuit kicked off the weekend by delivering another gold medal as well as a new world record time of 3:50.26. It was a close run thing, with the Australian’s taking an early lead but they soon dropped down to three men and by the end the metronomic efficiency of the British team paid off. The team consisted of Sir Bradley Wiggins, Owain Doull, Ed Clancy and Steve Burke. This race gave Sir Bradley Wiggins his fifth gold medal, making him the most successful British Olympian in history with eight Olympic medals to his name.

On Saturday the women’s team pursuit kept the gold glory coming by setting another world record of 4:10.23. Joanna Roswell, Laura Trott, Elinor Barker and Kate Archibald beat out the American team by two whole seconds, after the American ‘fast start’ tactic collapsed. Laura Trott also made history as the first British female Olympian to earn three gold medals.

Rebecca James made her Olympic debut during the women’s keirin gaining her first silver Olympic medal in the process, following her success the day before to win her qualification for the women’s sprint with another Olympic record time of 10.72 seconds. 

Sunday proved to be another successful day for the British athletes as Jason Kenny and Callum Skinner went head to head in an all-British final for the men’s sprint competition. Kenny proved himself to be both tactically and physically superior to Skinner and earned his fifth gold medal. Only Sir Chris Hoy has won more gold medals (for now - Kenny races the Keirin tomorrow), so should he be successful we can’t help but wonder if he might find his way onto the New Year’s honours list.

The men’s omnium also got underway on Sunday with Mark Cavendish representing Team GB. In the scratch race he finished in sixth place, after a breakaway cleared off with 13 laps to go. In the individual pursuit he came second, only to Lasse Norman Hansen of Denmark who set a new Olympic record. Cavendish’s elimination race didn’t go quite to plan as a badly timed dive down the banking saw him get stuck in traffic, which resulted in a trip into the blue ‘Côte d’Azur’ paint strip and elimination in just 10th place.


Team sprint 

Thursday night proved to be a golden one for Team GB in the velodrome, with the men's team sprinters notching up the first track cycling gold medals of the games for Great Britain. Despite not being considered favourites due to less than spectacular performances in previous world championships, this did not stop Great Britain beating current world champions New Zealand with a new Olympic record of 42.440 seconds.

The team, consisting of Jason Kenny, Phillip Hindes and Callum Skinner, brought home the fourth gold so far for Team GB at Rio 2016, bringing the overall tally to 15 medals. It was also Jason Kenny’s fourth Olympic gold medal, making him one of the most decorated British Olympians ever behind the likes of Sir Steve Redgrave and Chris Hoy.

Skinner had a lot of pressure upon him to fill the third man spot that six-time Olympic champion Chris Hoy had left in the pursuit team. 'Its not been an easy road,' he said. 'So to come here and be Olympic champion is incredible. We've been working so hard and it shows it pays off.'

Team Pursuit

Before that though, success in the velodrome had already started with the womens team pursuit setting a world record during their qualifying ride. The team went seventh out of nine teams and managed to shave four-tenths of a second off of the previous record time of 4:13.683, set by Australia in 2015. They now face Canada in the second round for a place in the final.

The mens team pursuit also set the fastest time in their qualifying run, finishing just three-tenths outside of their own world record. Sir Bradley Wiggins, Ed Clancy, Owain Doull and Steven Burke set a time of 3:51.943, almost three and a half seconds ahead of Denmark, who qualified in second. They will now race New Zealand in the semi-final on Friday.

Road race - 08/08/2016

With a route that has been blasted for its dangerous descents, the Rio road races over the weekend have caused so much controversy that the UCI has been forced to leap to its defence.

The 237.5km route greatly affected Team GB in the men’s race. It was expected that Thomas would support Froome but after leaving his attack too late, it was Geraint Thomas pushing ahead for a medal. Unfortunately, he crashed on the steep descent from Vista Chinesa and, despite getting back on and finishing the race, there were no medals for Team GB. Thomas finished in 11th place followed by Froome in 12th. Yates finished in 15th place. Ian Stannard and Steve Cummings did not complete the race, after having both put in valiant turns on the front to whittle down the peloton in the early stages.

With only three Team GB cyclists competing in the women’s race, the clear focus was on Armitstead as the team leader. After an early drama of a punctured tyre at 10km in, which led to a bike change, she caught up to the head of the peloton.

Emma Pooley led the peloton up the climbg and finished in 58th place - one place behind her teammate Nikki Harris. Armitstead finished in fifth place as she was dropped on the second half of the climb, ending her week of turmoil in disappointment. She was expected to bring back an Olympic medal and was a favourite for the podium during Sunday’s race. She herself claims that the suspension from UK anti-doping didn’t affect her mind-set during the race and that she ‘simply couldn’t climb fast enough'.

Page 1 of 312 medals including 8 golds for Team GB Paralympic cyclists

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Page 1 of 312 medals including 8 golds for Team GB Paralympic cyclists