August 30 - It was a golden day for the United States at the International Cycling Union (UCI) Para-Cycling World Championships in Baie-Comeau as no fewer than five of its riders topped the podium in the time trial events.
Greta Neimanas, Megan Fisher, Jamie Whitmore and Allison Jones dominated in the women's events while Aaron Keith claimed his first world title in the men's C2 finishing ahead of Maurice Eckhard Tio of Spain and Ireland's Colin Lynch.
In the women's C5 event, Neimanas saw off the challenge of Poland's Anna Harkowska in second and teammate Samantha Heinrich to claim her second World Championship gold medal, while London 2012 champion and former Paratriathlon world champion Fisher added another title to her collection, finishing ahead of Canadian Marie-Claude Molnar and Autralia's Susan Powell in the C4 category.
Whitmore battled it out with Simone Kennedy of Australia in the C3 class and finished over four minutes ahead of the Australian while double Paralympic champion Jones reigned supreme in the C2 category coming home first ahead of Raquel Acinas Poncelas of Spain and Czech Tereza Diepoldova.
"This team is really coming together," said Ian Lawless, the United States Olympic Committee's high performance director for US Paralympics cycling.
"Our athletes know that when they arrive at the start line, they always have a shot at the win - and they can back it up, evidenced by the medal count so far."
Meanwhile, defending champions and London 2012 gold medallists the Pizzi brothers - Ivano and Lucca - secured gold for Italy in the men's tandem competition while British duo Lora Turnham and Corrine Hall finished ahead of two New Zealand pairs in the form of silver medallists Phillips Gray and Laura Fairweather, and bronze medal winners Emma Foy and Gabrielle Vermunt in the women's tandem event.
That represented the first time two teams from New Zealand finished on the podium in the same event at a World Championships, which delighted Paralympics New Zealand Bike head performance coach Brendon Cameron.
"It has been a great day," he said.
"It was slightly bitter-sweet to come within just nine seconds of winning that rainbow jersey but to see the podium flanked by four girls in the black jersey was a moment of immense pride."
Cameron singled out 24-year-old Foy for special praise as the Kiwi rider was making her World Championship debut and only joined the New Zealand Paralympic programme in February of this year.
"Her performance here [to win bronze] was so exciting," he added.
"It normally takes at least two or three years to develop a good tandem pairing and if she continues down the same development pathway then 2016 [the year of the Rio Paralympics] is going to be a good year."
Australian David Nicholas and Carol-Eduard Novak of Romania successfully defended their C3 and C4 titles respectively while Yehor Dementyev was a comfortable winner in the C5 class, finishing over 35 seconds ahead of Andrea Tarlao of Italy.
Juan Jose Mendez of Spain just edged out Germany's Michael Teuber in an exciting finish to the men's C1 race and in the women's C1 category, the excitement levels were rather more low key as Australia's Jayme Richardson was the only entrant who started the race.
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