Americans put in solid performances in a tough international field in California

CARSON, Calif. – The second day of the 2012 UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships presented by Samsung at the Velo Sports Center at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., saw world champions crowned in the men’s and women’s visually impaired (B) one-kilometer time trial, the men’s C1, C2 and C3 three-kilometer pursuit and the men’s C4 and C5 four-kilometer pursuit finals.

While the competition, also sponsored by The Hartford, did not find the Americans on the podium, U.S. Director, High Performance, Paralympic Cycling Craig Griffin was encouraged by his riders’ performances.

“We had a pretty solid day today,” Griffin said. “The competition is so deep, it’s hard to break into the medal round, but they’re getting close. The gap between the podium and where they qualified is getting closer. I’m excited about their progression.”

That gap was extremely slim in the men’s B one-kilometer time trial as two different American tandems held the fast time during the course of the event. The fourth team to start the event was Chester Triplett (Mooresville, N.C.) and Pete Billington (San Rafael, Calif.). That duo recorded a fast time of 1:06.858 which stood until the 14th team, Bryce Lindores and Scott McPhee of Australia, overtook them.

The second American twosome to compete in the event was Clark Rachfal (Annapolis, Md.) and Dave Swanson (Tucson, Ariz.). That duo recorded a fast time of 1:05.150, but they would place fifth overall. Triplett and Billington finished in ninth. Great Britain’s Craig MacLean and Anthony Kappes collected the gold medal after registering a 1:03.013, edging their compatriots and silver medalists Neil Fachie and Barney Storey, who finished in 1:03.112. Rinne Oost and Patrick Bos of the Netherlands earned the bronze medal with a time of 1:04.183.

In the women’s B one-kilometer time trial, the American pair of Karissa Whitsell (Eugene, Ore.) and Lisa Turnbull (Springfield, Ore.) placed ninth with a 1:14.834. The Australian duo of Felicity Johnson and Stephanie Morton unofficially recorded a world record by finishing in 1:08.714. The tandem from Great Britain, Aileen McGlynn and Helen Scott collected its second silver medal in as many days after completing the one kilometer in 1:10.154. Kathrin Goeken and Kim Van Dijk of the Netherlands earned the bronze medal after clocking in at 1:12.248.

Americans Sam Kavanagh (Bozeman, Mont.) and Aaron Trent (Colorado Springs, Colo.) placed seventh and eighth, respectively in the men’s C4 four-kilometer pursuit. Carol-Eduard Novak (ROU), who qualified with the second-best time, rode four kilometers in 4:47.927 to earn the gold medal. Jiri Jezek (CZE) won the silver medal while Jody Cundy (GBR) overtook Roberto Alcaide Garcia (ESP) to win the bronze.

In the men’s C1 three-kilometer pursuit, Mark Lee Colbourne (GBR) overtook Spain’s Juan Jose Mendez Fernandez in the gold medal race while Rodrigo Fernand Lopez caught Germany’s Erich Winkler to secure the bronze. The two American entries, Matthew Bigos (Cardiff by the Sea, Calif.) and Anthony Zahn (Riverside, Calif.), qualified in 10th and 11th positions with respective times of 4:33.860 and 4:38.245.

In the men’s C3 three-kilometer pursuit, Michael Farrell (Colorado Springs, Colo.) qualified in 12th with a time of 3:59.329. David Nicholas (AUS) overtook silver medalist Darren Kenny (GBR) in the gold medal race while Juan Emilio Gutierrez Berenguel (ESP) was a half-second faster than Shaun McKeown (GBR) to secure the bronze medal.

The winner of the men’s C5 four-kilometer world championship race, Michael T. Gallagher (AUS), who qualified in second place earlier in the day, edged Xinyang Liu (CHN) in the gold medal race. Andrea Tarlao (ITA) was just over three seconds faster than Yehor Dementyev (UKR) in the bronze medal race. The American entry in the competition, Mark Gyulafia (Portland, Ore.), posted a 5:04.039 to finish 11th.

In the men’s C2 three-kilometer contest, Colin Lynch (IRL) finished the gold medal race nearly six seconds faster than silver medalist Gui Hua Liang (CHN). Fabrizio Macchi (ITA) overtook Alvaro Galvis Becerra (COL) to earn the bronze medal.

The competition continues Saturday with the women’s three-kilometer pursuit and the men’s one-kilometer time trial.

Complete competition results, race schedule and live streaming information can be found on the event’s web page, http://www.paracyclingla2012.com.

For more information about U.S. Paralympics, its athletes or programs, visit usparalympics.org.