The Brits dominated the Para-Cycling International on home roads, picking up a number of wins on the first day of festivities in Yorkshire ahead of the Road World Championships.
Steve Bate and Adam Duggleby were the first winners of the day, claiming victory in the B-class tandem event, before William Bjergfelt soared across the line, arms aloft, having won the men’s C5-class race. Meanwhile, Dame Sarah Storey won the C5 class for the women.
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The Yorkshire Para-Cycling International races were comprised of four groups of para-cyclists, split across 13 para-cycling classifications. ‘B’ was tandem races, for visually impaired riders with a sighted pilot on the front, ‘C’ was for riders with physical impairments using an adapted bike. ‘H’ was handcycles, for riders with impairments affecting either both legs or a combination of the upper and lower limbs and T was tricycles, for riders with cerebral palsy, neurological conditions or unable to ride a bicycle.
Although all races finished in Harrogate, as will be the case throughout the week of the World Championships, there were three start towns, with riders setting off from either Beverley, Tadcaster or Wetherby.
In the tandem event, the sole Dutch riders had a mechanical on the course, leaving the Brits with just the Irish to contend with. Yorkshire-born Duggleby sealed a memorable victory on home roads, saying: “It was just crazy, the crowds in every single town were screaming your name.” His team-mate Bates added: “It’s just unbelievable, the crowds were just outrageous!”
Organisers of the Para-Cycling International have said the event will be a “game-changer” for disability sport, with the UCI describing Yorkshire 2019 as the most inclusive World Championships of all time.