BAIE-COMEAU, Que. – Keely Shaw of Midale, Sask., won the bronze medal Sunday in the women’s C4, 70.2 kilometre road race on the last day at the 2022 Para Cycling Road World Championships.
Canada ends the four-day event with seven medals (three silver and four bronze).
Samantha Bosco of the U.S. won the race for riders whose coordination is affected to a low level on one side in 2:00:05. Meg Lemon of Australia took the silver in 2:03:27 and Shaw was third in 2:03:29.
‘’Today I showed I’m a road racer rather than a track racer who does road,’’ said Shaw, 28, paralyzed on her left side after falling off a horse in 2015. ‘’I’ve never been this close to second place in an international road race.’’
It was Shaw’s second bronze at these worlds. She ends the 2022 season eight-for-eight in international podium appearances when you add her World Cup road racing results.
‘’I was struggling with my road race before this season and the focus was on the track,’’ said the 28-year-old PhD kinesiology student. ‘’To come out flying like this on the road in 2022 I might have to re-evaluate my priorities.’’
In the same category, Marie-Claude Molnar of Longueuil, Que., concluded a successful competitive career placing fourth in 2:12.46.
‘’There are many emotions for me right now but the main one is pride,’’ said Molnar, a double world champion and Paralympic Games medallist in her 11-year national team career.
‘’I’m very pleased to finish such a difficult race in fourth place. I tried to stick with the lead pack as long as possible and once I fell off the group, I just wanted to finish as high as possible.’’
National team rookie Alexandre Hayward of New Brunswick took sixth spot in the men’s C3 road race, only the fourth international race of his career.
The 25-year-old mechanical engineering student led the peloton for the first half of the race but a mechanical issue on the fourth of six laps forced him to stop briefly. He chased down the pack and was in the medal mix as a stream of 15 riders crossed the finish line.
‘’On the fourth lap I was set up nicely for the climb and I had my chain fall off,’’ he said. ‘’I had a 40 second gap on the group so just to catchup again was my win for me today.’’
In the women’s tandem for visually impaired, Cara Shibley and her pilot Meghan Brown of Calgary were also happy to make headway on their opponents in a sixth-place finish.
‘’I left it all out there and tried to have a smile under my pain face,’’ said Shibley, a double gold medallist at the Parapan American Games in 2019. ‘’It was one of the hardest races I’ve ever done.’’
Brown ran into difficulty late in the race when her legs started to cramp as they battled Australia for that fifth spot.
‘’The sprint to the finish was all Carla,’’ said Brown. ‘’My legs completely seized up. I think we would have gained a spot if that didn’t happen. I’m always down for a big sprint but we are coming for them.’’
Sébastien Travers, head coach of Canada’s national Para cycling team was pleased to see his squad return to the podium after being shutout at the Paralympic Games last summer.
‘’It was a great week for us,’’ said Travers. ‘’We won more medals than expected. We got some great performances from newcomers and our veterans were able to deliver the goods. We are where we want to be, two years from the Paris Paralympics.’’
Besides Shaw, other Canadian medallists this week were:
Nathan Clement, West Vancouver, men’s T1 (tricycle) silver in time trial and road race.
Joey Desjardins, Hawkesbury, Ont., men’s H3 (handcycle) bronze in road race.
Charles Moreau, Victoriaville, Que., men’s H3 silver in time trial.
Shelley Gautier, Toronto, women’s T1, bronze in time trial.
The Para cycling track worlds are at the 2024 Games venue in Paris this October. The next Para cycling road worlds are part of the inaugural ICU World Cycling Championships next July in in Glasgow, UK.