Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson on GB's Paralympic cycling hopes

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Sarah Storey wins paracycling sprint finish

The British paracycling team returned from the World Road Championships in Roskilde in Denmark with 10 medals, the largest number won at this event.

With a tally of two golds, two silvers and six bronze medals, it was perhaps a little disappointing compared to the last world championships where the team won six golds and a silver but to understand where the team currently is, you need to look beyond the medal table.

Sarah Storey won both the road race and the time trial, but it was up to the newer members of the team to deliver the bulk of the medals.

In the time trial events, Mark Colbourne won silver, and Karen Darke bronze. Darke also picked up a second bronze in the road race, with Simon Price, Chrystal Lane, and Rachel Morris adding medals of the same colour.

The biggest drama came as Lora Turnham and her pilot Louise Haston crashed in the tandem road race on a technical part of the course. Turnham was badly shaken by the crash going in to a roundabout, and Haston was left with cuts and bruises. This was the second crash for Turnham this season - the previous one in Sergovia left her pilot, Fiona Duncan, requiring 12 stitches.

But it was pre-Games preparation that seeks to remind us of the dangers of cycling.

Three weeks ago, David Stone (silver in the time trial) crashed in a race in Belgium, hitting a pot hole and then the ground at high speed. His injuries are slowly healing, but his face still bears the scars.

The biggest concern was for Rachel Morris, who at a training camp in Bath two weeks ago dislocated her shoulder. Not good for a hand cyclist leading into their most important race of the year, but more significantly not for someone with reflex sympathetic dystrophy.

RSD causes the body to reject the limb that has been injured, and a sprained ankle as a teenager resulted in Rachel having both her legs amputated.

It was with obvious relief to Rachel and the team that not only did she make it to the worlds, but in good health, although not in the shape needed to win. She has coped with a couple of tough weeks, both physiologically and psychologically, and there is more to come next year.

The positives are that the squad is growing and has plenty of room for improvement. Cyclists on the programme had to finish on the podium to be in contention for a place next year.

Lane came into the sport because her mother recognised she had the same impairment as team-mate Sarah Storey. Price and Colbourne both had extensive cycling experience prior to their accident which led them back to the sport. This no doubt helps considerably in the fast-tracking process.

Although the medals may not have all been the right colour, cycling is in a strong position for next year.

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