GB Paralympic cyclists impress in World Cup

Britain's David Stone takes the lead in the trike race. Pic: British Cycling
David Stone edges ahead of his Italian rival in the trike road race in Sydney

Britain's Paralympic cyclists won 10 medals, including six golds, at the Road World Cup event in Sydney.

There were two golds each for road racer Sarah Storey, handcyclist Rachel Morris and David Stone, who competes in the trike category.

Karen Darke won two handcycling silvers while the tandem pair of Lora Turnham and Fiona Duncan won silver and bronze.

The event gives Great Britain vital qualification points ahead of the 2012 London Paralympics.

While Storey enjoyed gold medal success in March's Para-cycling Track World Championships in Italy, it was the first major international outing of the season for Morris and Stone, who both won gold at the 2008 Paralympics in Beijing.

Morris, who is a double leg amputee and powers her bike with her arms, was a dominant winner of her road race, finishing 11 minutes clear of her rivals on the 37km course and was equally impressive in the time trial where she again finished well clear of the field.

Stone, who has cerebral palsy, was pushed hard by Italian rival Giorgio Farroni in the road race but took the lead on the final lap and was able to hold on for victory by 12 seconds before winning Friday's time trial by 46 seconds.

Storey, who only arrived in Australia 24 hours before her opening road race, showed no signs of jet lag, beating her nearest rival Greta Neimanas of the United States by three-and-a-half minutes and was also dominant in the time trial, beating Neimanas by a minute and a half.

The results are a boost for Great Britain's hopes of being able to mount a strong challenge in 2012. The team need to gain as many qualification points over the World Cup series to maximise their chances of being able to field a full team in London.

Head coach Chris Furber said: "We have seen some strong performances from our riders in the last few days and it's particularly pleasing to see Karen Darke win two silvers and the new pairing of Lora Turnham and Fiona Duncan on podium against a world class field.

"We have exceeded our qualification points target for both men and women, which puts is in a good place ahead of the second round of the event in Spain next month, where competition will be even tougher."

After Spain (10-12 June), the third and final World Cup event will take place in Canada in July before the World Championships in Denmark in September.