Date: Thursday, 06 September 2012
Posted by: Cycling Southland

Phillipa Gray and Laura Thompson take silver in Paralympic Road TTSouthland’s Phillippa Gray with Laura Thompson collected a silver medal on the roads on day seven of the Paralympics in London today.

They added the silver in the road time trial to go with the gold and bronze won at the velodrome last week.

The racing action moved to the road course which was staged at the famed British motor circuit of Brands Hatch in Kent, south of London.

They so nearly made it a second gold medal, pipped by half a second by the team from the Netherlands in the 24km time trial. The kiwi pair clocked 35:07.68 for the journey but the Dutch pair, who had not competed on the track, just managed to sneak in by the marrowest of margins.

Gray said that the pair had focused primarily on the velodorme events and the grueling road event was something they had not prepared for specifically.

 “It was nasty, this hasn’t been an event we’ve trained for, and it’s a bit of a bonus.”

Today’s silver medal brings the overall New Zealand tally to 13 which is ahead of the 12 won in Beijing with three days of competition remaining.

Of the other kiwi cyclists in action today Taranaki’s Nathan Smith was 10th in the C3 individual time trial, with the leg amputee struggling somewhat with the lumpy nature of the circuit.

“On a flatter track I’m a real contender but here, with these hills I just couldn’t get out of the saddle to keep it going,” he said.

Northland’s Fiona Southorn produced another outstanding effort to finish fifth in the 16km time trial in 26:00.81.

“I had a great ride and couldn’t have given any more, my gear changes were spot on and my corners were good, and even my hill climbs were spot on.”

Ngatea hand cyclist Sue Reid finished fourth in her time trial, waiting for the second week to make her debut at London.

Sue put in a strong effort on the turning track to clock 36.00.46 with Swiss cyclist Sandra Graf winning in a stunning 33:21.61.

Auckland’s Chris Ross finished 12th in his C5 time trial in 36:17.18.


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