Cycling excitement soars at Vichy, France
By Callum Burchett and Mousumi Mazumdar for Virtus
As the world eagerly awaits the sixth edition of the Virtus Global Games, the city of Vichy in France is gearing up to showcase an exhilarating display of athletic prowess. Building on the successes of previous cycling competitions, the stage is set for cycling to reach new heights and create a buzzing atmosphere like never before. With the highly anticipated event just around the corner, fans and athletes alike are eagerly awaiting the chance to witness the sheer brilliance and competitive spirit of the cycling events.
In II1 Men’s individual events, De Jong Lars (BEL) surfaced as champion in both short and long races, securing gold in both events at Krakow 2022. Lars’s consistent performances and unwavering focus makes him a force to be reckoned with. However, Ecuadorian super-cyclists David Arellano and Erik Javier are expected to give Lars a tough fight. While GG2019 champion Erik has proved his skills in both GG2019 and Krakow 2022, he will be racing fiercely to defend his GG2019 titles. Meanwhile, Arellano will be persistent in climbing the ranks up from Krakow 2022 results. All three captivated spectators at the 2022 European Games with their impressive speed and remarkable endurance, marking them as a leading contender for glory in Vichy.
Home nation heroes, Jeremy Pereira, Leo Collet, and Jean Thievient will carry the weight of expectations but also benefit from the support of passionate fans. With their sights set on the 2023 Games, all three will have the opportunity to showcase their skills on familiar terrain and make their nation proud.
In Women’s II1, Nofar Hangebi from Israel proved her excellence in the women’s road race, emerging as a phenomenal champion. With an exceptional display of skill and determination, she secured first-place, showcasing her talent on the challenging course. Additionally, in the individual trial, she continued her impressive performance by capturing second-place position, demonstrating her versatility and endurance. Georgia Powning and Molly Thatcher from Australia face a daunting task as they aim to dethrone the formidable Nofar Hangebi from Israel. With determination and perseverance, Powning and Thatcher might have the potential to create an electrifying competition, pushing themselves to their limits in pursuit of victory.
When it comes to II3 races, Nizan Shamiz from Israel has truly made a lasting impact in all the Road-cycling events. Despite the II3 category being a demonstration class until the GG2023, Shamiz showcased remarkable skill and determination in each event and is looking forward to script history in the first full-competition event for II3.
In both the 2022 World Cycling Championship and the GG2019 Brisbane, France showcased their dominance in the men’s teams cycling competitions. They secured the first-place in both events, highlighting their exceptional talent and consistent performance on the global stage. Meanwhile, Australia proved to be a formidable contender finishing second in the GG2019 Brisbane. India, on the other hand, made a significant breakthrough in the GG2019 Brisbane by clinching the third-place, demonstrating their rising prominence in the world of cycling.
Beyond the competition itself, the 2023 Games aims to promote inclusivity and raise awareness about the exceptional abilities of athletes with intellectual impairments. The cycling events will serve as a reminder of the power of sport to transcend boundaries and inspire individuals to achieve greatness, both on and off the track.
Track Cycling will be hosted at Bourges velodrome, Creps Centre-Val de Loire and the Road Cycling will be taking place at the Town of Magnet.
Track cycling schedule: https://gg2023.org/en/sports/cycling-en/#sport-programme