Mel Pemble repeats as world champion in the Omnium

Canadian Paralympic Committee

August 08, 2023

Victoria Para cyclist concludes track events at worlds with three medals

Mel Pemble

(photo Alex Whitehead)


GLASGOW, Scotland – Para cyclist Mel Pemble won two medals, including a gold, with just one race on Tuesday at the UCI Cycling World Championships.


The Victoria rider successfully defended her Omnium world crown in the women’s C3 category and added a silver in a gripping scratch race, a 15-minute ride of fury on the velodrome track over 10 kilometres that had the sellout crowd at the edge of their seats.


It is Pemble’s third medal of the competition and the fifth for Canadian Para cyclists at these championships so far. Pemble also took bronze in the 500-metre trial on Monday.


With the silver in the scratch race, Pemble moved into top spot in the Omnium standings for the gold in the cumulative event based on results from four races. Among the Omnium entries, Pemble was also first in the flying start (not a medal event), second in the time trial, and third in the pursuit for 154 points.


Aniek van den Aarssen of the Netherlands also cumulated 154 points, but Pemble wins the title because she finished higher in the scratch race than van den Aarsen. Richael Timothy of Ireland ranked third.


‘’I had a few girls to worry about in the scratch in terms of the placings for the Omnium,” said Pemble, a native of England who was cheered on by numerous relatives including her 86-year-old grandmother. ‘’I’m just so glad it came to a sprint at the end, it was a fight. I’m so happy.’’


In that wild scratch race, it was China’s Xiaomei Wang who crossed the finish line first followed by Pemble and Timothy. The scratch is a multi-rider race and the first who crosses the finish line wins. Riders who are lapped must withdraw. The five entries took several turns leading at the front, but no one was able to take control which set up a dramatic finish.


‘’It was super crazy,’’ said Pemble, born with cerebral palsy affecting her right side. ‘’I’m looking at everyone making their moves, there were so many tactical things, there was so much going through my head. I needed to pick which battles to fight for.’’


Earlier Tuesday, Pemble competed with Tarek Dahab of Beloeil, Que. and Kate O’Brien of Calgary in the Mixed C (category) sprint qualifying. The Canadians ranked 10th and did not advance to the final four held later in the evening.


It was the trio’s debut in the event.


‘’It worked really well and I’m looking forward to seeing what we can do in the future,’’ said O’Brien, a silver medallist in the C4 500m trial on the weekend.


The Para cyclists now head to Dumfries, Scotland for the road races beginning with the time trial on Wednesday.


Full results:


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