Belgium’s Lars de Jong and Great Britain’s Kiera Byland were the victors in the respective men’s and women’s time trial at the 2018 International Federation for Athletes with Intellectual Impairments (World Intellectual Impairment Sport) Cycling World Championships in Paris, France, on Monday (16 July).
The competition is being held as part of the World Intellectual Impairment Sport European Summer Games, alongside eight other sports. This also includes the tennis World Championships.
De Jong was delighted to add another world title to his growing list of accolades.
In Assen, the Netherlands, in 2017 the Belgian impressed when he claimed the road race gold on his international debut.
Less than one year later he posted the quickest time of 13:20.48 after three laps of the course in Paris to secure the time trial win.
“I felt a lot of emotions, I had to cry a little bit,” De Jong said. “It was a difficult training period, a lot of things happened. I didn’t expect to win here. During the race I also didn’t know the times of the other riders so I had to wait until the end, and it was a bit of a surprise.”
Eric Javier Sarango Tufino (13:24.56) secured silver for Ecuador. Defending champion Jeremy Texeira Pereira (13:30.28) grabbed France’s second podium of the day with third.
Great Britain’s Kiera Byland successfully retained her title in the women’s.
Bursting off the start to cheers from her travelling fans, Byland (10:30.20) looked in great form.
“I was really excited as I wanted to do well with it as well,” the British rider said. “Part of the course I knew was going to be a bit difficult, there was a slight incline and I was riding round thinking I hope I do well, and I did! I won the gold!”
Like de Jong, Byland repeated her victory from Assen 2017 when she finished in front of French defending champion Aurelie Minodier.
Minodier (10:48.88) was second again on home soil in Paris. Russia’s Irina Nikitina (10:50.79) completed the podium.
Byland also looked ahead to the road race on Tuesday (17 July), where she will try to defend a second title: “I’m nervous but I’m hoping that I’ll do well. It’s here again as well [Polygone de Vincennes], so at least we know the route. It’s going to be good.”
The cycling continues on Tuesday before the team events conclude the World Championships on Thursday (19 July).
2018 World Intellectual Impairment Sport Tennis World Championships
Paris is also playing host to the 2018 World Intellectual Impairment Sport Tennis World Championships.
The opening day saw round robin wins for some top ranked players.
Women’s singles champion Hanne Lavreyson of Belgium beat Italy’s Beatrice Pedrotti 6-0 in her opening game.
Australia’s world No.2 Kelly Wren played Poland’s Natalia Babinska, triumphing with a 6-1 win.
Wren’s teammate and current No.3 Carla Lenarduzzi won her tie against French favourite Eva Cretin (6-1).
In the men’s another two Australians registered their first victories.
Top seed Archie Graham dispatched Russia’s Andrei Demin 6-0.
World No.3 Mitchell James only dropped two games against Czech Republic’s Josef Hus (6-2).
The tennis runs until Saturday (22 July).
As well as cycling and tennis, athletics, basketball, cycling, hockey, table tennis, swimming and petanque are all being contested. The 2018 World Intellectual Impairment Sport European Summer Games are being organised by World Intellectual Impairment Sport Europe.