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Over four days of competition in Los Angeles, more than 70 paracycling competitors from 20 nations competed at the 2017 world paracycling championships, held at the Velo Sports Center in Carson, California. Events included the time trial, individual pursuit, 200-meter sprint, scratch race, and team sprint.
Photographer Casey B. Gibson was on hand, shooting for U.S. Paralympics Cycling, and has shared some of his favorite images.
Team USA finished atop the medal standings with 18 medals (10 gold, 4 silver, 4 bronze). For the first time in the program’s history, the U.S won gold in the team sprint. Team USA broke the fourth-place curse in the team sprint as the trio of Jason Kimball, Joe Berenyi, and Chris Murphy maintained the lead throughout to take the gold. At the past five world championships, the U.S. team finished just shy of the podium with fourth-place finishes. The win marks the first-ever international team sprint title for the U.S., and only the second podium finish in the event, as the team won bronze at the Paralympic Games in London.
“The team sprint win is a huge deal,” said Ian Lawless, high performance director for U.S. Paralympics Cycling. “For our current program, it’s been four years in the making. To have our first win here in Los Angeles is huge. It’s huge for the athletes, it’s huge for the team, and it’s huge for our program. I think it will give us a lot of momentum as we look to Tokyo and beyond.”
Berenyi returned to the track to win the men’s C1-3 15-kilometer scratch race and claimed his fourth medal of the championships. Berenyi’s victory was an improvement from his silver-medal finish in the same event in 2015, and completed Berenyi’s career collection of a world title in every event.
“The team sprint was super exciting,” Berenyi said. “Chris Murphy had won his first world title in the kilo. Jason Kimball has been with the program so long. We put the right combination together for the team sprint and we were confident we could do really well. Everything was firing on all cylinders. So it means more to win as a team, than individually. It’s phenomenal.”
American Shawn Morelli claimed gold in the women’s C4 4-kilometer individual pursuit by overtaking Canada’s Marie-Claude Molnar. Morelli also won her first time trial world title. “It’s really exciting to win back-to-back titles on our home track and in front of our home crowd, especially in front of my family,” Morelli said. “It’s a great feeling. It’s hard to put into words.”
The gold-medal final of the women’s C5 4km pursuit was a showdown between Team USA’s Samantha Bosco and Jennifer Schuble. Ultimately it was Bosco who pulled away to cross the line first and claim gold, with Schuble in silver. The win marked the first world championship title for Bosco, and the second podium of the championships for Schuble, who won gold in the time trial.
“I don’t really know how to put it into words,” Bosco said. “It’s indescribable. I thought getting my first bronze medal in Rio was something that was a complete and utter shock, and unsurpassable. This is right up there with it. I’m thankful for it. It’s not just a medal for me, it’s a medal for all the people who believed in me and supported me along the way. For my great uncle Bill who passed away on Valentine’s Day, and even for the people who doubted me. A lot went into making this hapen, and I’m just glad I could represent those people and my country.”