Chinley star secures UCI Para-cycling Road World Cup double

editorial image

Katie Toft is all smiles after claiming a UCI Para-cycling Road World Cup double in Belgium.

The Chinley rider struck Women Elite C1 gold in the individual time trial and road race at the event in Ostend this month.

The 25-year-old’s double success sees her lead the way at the top of the Women Elite C1 - Road Para Rankings with 120 points.

“I really enjoyed both races and I was happy with my performance but there is still plenty of work to do,” said Toft.

She finished the 18km time trial race in 35 minutes and 35.98 seconds (35:35.98) - 2:19.83 faster than her nearest competitor, Kaitlyn Schurmann, of Australia.

Toft said: “The time trial race was fantastic because it included both a long straight and a technical section. The technical section just after the start was part of the road race circuit last time I raced here so some of it was familiar.

“I completed two laps making it an 18km time trial for the C1 category. I managed to pass my main competitor, finishing just over two minutes in front of her with a final time of 35:35.98.

“The weather was fine, dry and sunny with a slight breeze; because of this I was able to ride my disc wheel which improved my time as its more aerodynamic.”

While the 48km road race two days later saw Toft finish in a time of one hour, 38 minutes and 19 seconds (1:38:19) - 3:55 ahead of second-placed C1 rider Schurmann.

“The road race was more complicated as there are riders across the C1-5 categories taking part, which included several world champions,” said Toft.

“Starting in a group with the C4 and C5 riders leaving first, followed by the C1, C2 and C3 riders, two minutes later. As expected the group soon broke up into their different classifications.

“The C3s made a break for front, chasing the C4s and C5s and the C1s and C2s following. After the first lap I managed to jump across and tag onto a group of C2 riders.

“Working together with riders of different nationalities, three of us pulled away. This race involved some technical sections in the residential areas and then a long section out to the airport and back again.”

Toft’s success in Belgium comes weeks after she clinched gold in the Women’s C1 3000m Individual Pursuit on her UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships debut in Brazil.

“At the moment I lead both the track and road racing categories in the UCI World Championships,” added Toft. “I can only maintain my lead if I can attend the competitions which are held around the world.

“My next group of races are the National Championships which take place at the beginning of June, the Time Trial on the Saturday followed by the Road Race on the Sunday. I hope to perform well and improve on my performances from Ostend at these races.”