The final day of cycling at the Rio Paralympics provided one more gold medal win for Dame Sarah Storey, taking her haul to fourteen over swimming and cycling.
Storey won the C4-5 road race, having already won gold in the individual pursuit and time trial. Joining her on the podium was Crystal Lane – who won the sprint to take bronze – her second medal of the games after silver in the individual pursuit.
Storey kept her cool when Estonia’s Mari-Liis Juul and Marie-Claude Molnar broke away early in the race. Later on Juul dropped off, and China’s Jianping Ruan became the new target – building up a 44 second lead after 30km of racing.
The British riders stuck close by each other, working with the peloton to catch the break with 25km to go. With the race back together, Storey put in her own attack – and built up an unstoppable lead in the region of two minutes with 10km to go.
Crossing the line three minutes 30 before second place rider, Poland’s Anna Harkowska, Storey had time to celebrate before seeing Lane win the sprint for bronze.
Both riders were clearly thrilled..
— Dame Sarah Storey (@DameSarahStorey) September 17, 2016
For Lane, the idea of riding the race was a dream come true – so to medal was a very special cherry on top.
Goodnight from Rio ????. Tomorrow my dream of racing the road race in Rio becomes a reality pic.twitter.com/yXe8ygdKrm
— Crystal Lane (@CrystallLane) September 17, 2016
In the tandem women’s race, Lora Turnham and Corrine Hall managed fourth place. They’d already taken Gold in the track time trial and Bronze in the road time trial. It wasn’t the result they were gunning for, but the pair were happy with their overall haul.
As the Rio games drew to a close – with cycling and athletics star Kadeena Cox carrying the flag at the closing ceremony – British Cycling finished top of the cycling medal table. In total, the riders claimed twelve gold medals, three silvers and six bronze gongs.
Despite concern over the organisation and financial state of the Paralympic Games in Rio, they’ve proved to be an incredible success for the British riders. Chapeau!