France’s Pereira targets cycling world title defence

Jeremy Pereira and

French men’s road race and individual time trial world champion Jeremy Pereira is eyeing the successful defence of his titles when the 2017 World Intellectual Impairment Sport World Cycling Championships roll into Assen, the Netherlands, from Wednesday (2 August).

At the last edition in the Czech Republic in 2016 the 23-year-old stormed to double gold and was part of the French duo that claimed silver in the men’s team time trial with Mickael Collin.

He is clear what he wants this time around: “Win the world champion title once again.”

But Pereira knows he will face tough competition, especially from the hosts.

“I think the Dutch could beat me, especially as we are racing in their home country, it is definitely an advantage for them,” he said. “I am planning to follow thoroughly the instructions of my coach.”

One of Pereira’s toughest competitors will be Joannathan Duinkerke. The Dutch athlete was the bronze medallist from the 2016 individual road race and one-half of the title-winning duo from the team time trial alongside teammate Davy Mertens.

Duinkerke has had a great season, winning in the road race at the Dutch Championships for athletes with an intellectual impairment.

Pereira favours the time trial as he hopes to convert his training performances into success on the road.

My favourite contest is the time trial because I achieve good results in all of my trainings and it is often done on a short circuit so I can give all I have all along the race.”

The Frenchman has been cycling for fun since the age of 12. He began competitive cycling with the French Federation of Adapted Sports in 2014 after riding 300km from Pont Audemer in France to London, Great Britain, ahead of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

“I can escape, I am not thinking of anything else and it feels good, and I also like seeing the landscape,” Pereira said of his love for two wheels. “It is helping me to release my stress, I climb on my bike almost daily in order to relax.”

Pereira is also on the road to the 2019 World Intellectual Impairment Sport Global Games in Brisbane, Australia, where he will try to improve on his silver medal from the individual time trial and retain the team title with Collin. Collin will also compete in Assen.

The 2017 World Intellectual Impairment Sport Cycling World Championships will feature the world’s best cyclists with an intellectual impairment from nine countries.

Action gets underway with the men’s and women’s individual time trial on 1 August. The men’s and women’s team time trial follows on 3 August with the men’s and women’s road race on 4 August.

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