The curtain came down on the first round of the UCI Para-cycling Road World Cup on Sunday with the second day of road races through the streets of Castiglione Della Pescaia.
New to the World Cup calendar, the Tuscan town produced the goods both for the 318 athletes taking part and the numerous fans who lined the streets. The home crowd had plenty to celebrate, with Italy leading the nations ranking after the three days of competition with a total of 17 medals, including six gold. The USA and Germany both have 12 medals, but with six gold to Germanyâ€™s three, the Americans edge out their European rivals in the rankings. Of the 36 participating nations, 25 won at least one medal.
After the time trials on a fast city-centre circuit on Friday, the athletes lined up for the road races on Saturday and Sunday, which covered between 24km and 112km, depending on the sport class.
Nine athletes gained a maximum number of points, winning both the time trial and the road race in their respective sport classes: Canadians Marie-Eve Croteau (WT2) and Shelley Gautier (WT1), Shawn Morelli, USA, (WC4);Â Anna Harkowska, POL (WC5), Justine Asher, RSA, (WH2); Laura De Vaan, NED, (WH5); Lora Turnham, GBR, (WB); Quentin Aubague, FRA (MT1); Alessandro Zanardi, ITA, (MH5).
Sixth in the medals table at the weekend, Spain will be hosting the next World Cup and looking to move up the rankings. Two of the countryâ€™s athletes will compete in the leaderâ€™s jersey won in Castiglione Della Pescaia: Maurice Tio Eckhard (MC2) and Raquel Acinas Poncelas (WC2).
The second round of the UCI Para-cycling Road World Cup will be held in Cantimpalos, Segovia (Spain) from July 25th to 27th.
Para-cycling sport classes
C â€“ Cyclist: conventional bike with some minor adaptations
T â€“ Tricycle: three-wheeled bike
B â€“ Blind: tandem
H â€“ Handbike
M â€“ Men
W - Women
Each group is divided into different sport classes depending on the severity of the handicap
Photo: MC4 road race podium: (from left) Yehor Dementyev (UKR), Andrea Tarlao (ITA), Patrick Hagenaars (AUT).