Lauren Parker has taken yet another world title, but this time her first in hand cycling at the UCI Cycling World Championships on August 9. The individual time trial gold makes the Australian a world champion in two sports and a serious contender for selection in para-cycling at the Paris Paralympic Games.
In what was only her second major para-cycling event, the multiple paratriathlon world champion and Tokyo Paralympic silver medalist set the fastest time in the individual time trial, blasting through the 17-kilometre course more than 1 minute and 11 seconds faster than the rest of the field and the only athlete to go under 30 minutes.
“It’s pretty special to now be a world champion in two sports — para-triathlon and para-cycling,” she said. “I was nervous because my first major para-cycling event was one in Belgium a few months ago, so I didn’t really know where I was at against the other girls because I’ve only raced them once… But I believed in myself. I’ve had a good preparation leading into Worlds and I just really believed that I could produce what I did today.”
Two days later Parker backed up to take the silver medal in the 46.8-kilometre road race.
She commented, “I’m happy with the result because it’s only onwards and upwards from here. Lots of improvement to be had as it was only my second-ever road race.”
This week Parker joins four of her Bahrain Victorious 13 teammates in Paris for the Olympic and Paralympic triathlon test events through Thursday to Sunday all starting at 8 am CEST. Cassandre Beaugrand will kick off the racing in the women’s individual triathlon on Thursday. Hayden Wilde, Vincent Luis, and Henri Schoeman will line up for the men’s individual triathlon on Friday. Parker will race the paratriathlon on Saturday. Finally, the mixed relay will cap the week’s events, with Beaugrand and Luis potentially racing on the France team, Wilde on the New Zealand team, and Schoeman on the South Africa team.