Para cyclist qualifies for Worlds
PROSERPINE'S David Nicholas has qualified for the Australian Para Cycling team to compete at the World Championships in Canada this August after a stunning performance at last weekend's nationals.
Representing the Mackay Cycling Club at the Caloundra championships, Nicholas claimed a gold medal in the 81km road race and a silver for the 27km time trial.
Nicholas, who has cerebral palsy, set a personal best along the way, lifting his average speed in the time trial from 38.5km/h to 40.48km/h.
But it was in the road race that Nicholas pulled out all the stops to cross the line first after breaking away with one of his competitors, Ryan Hughes, on the fourth of six laps.
During the final laps Hughes attacked several times in an attempt to ride away from the Proserpine star.
Nicholas responded to each attack and during the second half of the last lap attached himself to Hughes' rear wheel.
Hughes performed several manoeuvres, attempting to force Nicholas to the front prior to the sprint but was unsuccessful.
Leaving his sprint to within 200m of the finish line Hughes was forced to sprint first with Nicholas placed in his slipstream.
During the final metres the Whitsunday cyclist launched his bicycle out from behind Hughes in an all out effort to the line.
Both riders crossed the line with exactly the same time of 2.29.10 but Nicholas was declared the winner in a photo finish, beating Hughes by less than half a wheel.
“My legs still felt strong at the end of the race but I knew from the time trial that he was stronger them me,” Nicholas said.
“I had to have him in front during the sprint to give myself the advantage.
“I would like to dedicate this win to my friend and training partner, Peter Hull, who is battling cancer.”