2 September 2021
Road race silver seals magical Games for ParalympicGB's cyclists
Sophie Unwin and pilot Jenny Holl won silver in the women’s B road race to round-off a hugely successful Games for ParalympicsGB’s cyclists.
World champions Unwin and Holl kept up with the leaders around the gruelling Fuji International Speedway course, only briefly dropping off the back of a breakaway made by Katie-George Dunlevy of Ireland and Sweden’s Louise Jannering.
Dunlevy and pilot Eve McCrystal sprinted away in the final stretch to claim their second gold of the Games, while Unwin pipped the Swedes on the line to add silver to their individual pursuit bronze on the track.
“It was a really tough race right from the start,” said 27-year-old Unwin.
We weren't expecting to come to this Games, so to come away with two medals is just incredible.
“The descents were really hard, but we managed to get down them and once we were in that front group, we just aimed to stick in that group as long as we can and it worked for us.
“We weren’t expecting to come to this Games, so to come away with two medals is just incredible.”
Fellow Brit Lora Fachie, with her pilot Corrine Hall, suffered an early mechanical issue that saw them over two minutes down after the first 13.2km lap.
The pair clawed some of the advantage back eventually joining up with fourth-placed Poland’s Justyna Kiryla to close the gap to 13 seconds with 66km gone, thanks in part to Unwin’s refusal to lead the breakaway in an effort to help her compatriot.
Hall and Fachie were unable to add to their gold and silver won earlier in the Games
However, Fachie could not push on and came home in fifth, four minutes down on the winners after a valiant effort to get back in the race.
In the men’s C4-5 road race, George Peasgood finished sixth, the first C4 rider to cross the line and did so miming a breaststroke action poking fun at the rainy conditions.
The 25-year-old, who has already claimed a silver in the PTS5 triathlon and a bronze in cycling’s C4 men’s time trial in Tokyo, did not have the pace to keep up with the breakaway of C5 riders.
France’s Kevin le Cunff came away with the gold, with Yehor Dementyev and Daniel Abraham Gebru in silver and bronze, as Peasgood finished 5:22 behind the champion.
It was just about going out there, getting in the mix, racing a load of C5 guys so just to try and keep in the mix as much as possible.
Peasgood said: “That was pretty good, coming into it I knew everyone else has done the TT as well and I didn’t feel bad coming into the time trial and didn’t feel bad coming into the road race.
“It was just about going out there, getting in the mix, racing a load of C5 guys so just to try and keep in the mix as much as possible and try not to do too much work too early as well.
“It wasn’t too bad in that front group, a couple of guys were really lighting up on the climb and I’m not a 60-kilo rider that’s ridden at Conti-level racing so I just couldn’t match them and go that deep into the road, if I wanted to get across the line with a good effort.”
Peasgood picked up two medals in Tokyo, in the triathlon and cycling's time trial.
Steve Bate and guide Adam Duggleby were unable to start the men’s B road race having been forced to pull out of the time trial with a heavy crash.
But the pair still leave Tokyo with silver on the track – with every ParalympicsGB cyclist winning at least one medal in these Games.
That helped the team to 24 medals in all - enough to finish top of cycling’s medal table in Tokyo.
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