The Para-Cycling Road World Championships started today, at the Estoril Circuit, in Cascais, with a victory for Itali in the only race of the day, the team relay.
The Italian trio had the mission of defending the title that they have won in the previous edition and they succeeded, despite the big efforts from the Spanish team. Diego Colombari and Luca Mazzone repeated their presence in the transalpine line-up, with Paolo Cecchetto replacing Alexandro Zanardi, who suffered a serious accident and is absent from the competition. This prevented him from revalidating the 2019 titles.
The fight with the Spanish line-up was close. The team, consisting of Isarael Rider, Sergio Garrote and Luis Miguel García-Marquina, kept fighting for most of the 17.8 kilometres of a race in which each paracyclist completed three laps around a 1900-metre perimeter.
In the final stage, the Italians pulled the strings of their favouritism and came out on top for an uncontested solitary victory. Spain was second, 17 seconds behind. Germany, who had fallen behind during the central phase of the race, recovered their positions and took Annika Zeyen, Bernd Jeffre and Vico Merklein to the podium, 38 seconds behind the winners.
The race was preceded by the Opening Ceremony, in which the cycling schools from the Lisbon Cycling Association area participated. Artur Lopes, representing the International Cycling Union, Sandro Araújo, Director of Organization, José Manuel Lourenço, President of the Portuguese Paralympic Committee, Frederico Nunes, Town Councillor of Cascais and the Secretary of State for the Inclusion of People with Disabilities, Ana Sofia Antunes, also participated.
Portugals’ National Day will be very busy with the first time trial finals, to be held between 10am and 1.20pm and between 2pm and 6.25pm. Seven Portuguese will be in action. The first to compete, in C2, will be Telmo Pinão, at 10h19. Bernardo Vieira, in C1, will start at 11h24. Manuel Ferreira, at 14.23, and Hélder Maximino, at 14.29, will compete in C5. Paulo Teixeira, at 3.30pm, will be representing Portugal in C4 and the duo Ana Silva/Isabel Caetano will start in the B class, at 4.46pm.