Date: Thursday, 02 April 2015
Posted by: Cycling Southland

Laura Fairweather 2015There's no danger of complacency for world champion para-cyclists Emma Foy and Laura Fairweather.

The tandem pair successfully defended their women's B 3kilometre pursuit title at the 2015 UCI Para-Cycling Track World Championships in the Netherlands this week, as well as winning bronze in the 1km time trial.

Fairweather, the sighted pilot for the tandem, said the pair remained focussed on a gold medal at the Paralympics in Rio in 2016, and their motivation remained high despite winning their rainbow jersey by four seconds from Japan, their closest opposition.

"It's not easy to defend a rainbow jersey, so we were pretty happy. Having won last year we were [a target], but we try and keep it honest and not get complacent," she said.

"We are still getting faster, but it's hard to compare because we were at altitude last year, so that added a whole lot of other things into the mix. In terms of our sea level times, we were going faster leading into this worlds than we were last year. We are still improving, which is always the mission."

Foy and Fairweather, a Southlander who is based in Cambridge for training, are a relatively new combination, with Foy having only joined the para-cycling programme less than three years ago.

While the pair are 10 to 15 seconds faster than many of their opposition teams, anything could happen between now and Rio.

New combinations could come together, current teams would improve, while the sport's governing body, the UCI, was also investigating changing its rules over who could be a pilot rider.

Fairweather said it was possible that the UCI could lower the stand-down time for an international rider before they could race at Paralympic level to just 12 months.

"With things like [power meters] it's easy to keep setting goals. You are kind of competing against yourself, and it's easier to keep moving forwards."

Para-cycling head performance coach Brendon Cameron was pleased with the world championship performance, which include Kate Horan's silver in the C4 500m time trial

"This is a really good result to have backed up a World Championship title year on year.  Emma has only been in the sport for 2 ½ years and she is improving every year, just becoming stronger and being a better Para-Cyclist, so she is seeing great development. We are in great shape for Rio. We will compete at next year's world championships and then onto Rio."

There's little opportunity for Foy and Fairweather to rest, with the pair heading to Adelaide next week for a time trial and road race which carries qualification points towards Rio.

Article courtesy The Southland Times
Image courtesy Getty Images 

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