Canada's Clement, Gautier, win medals at World Para-cycling championships

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West Vancouver, B.C.'s Nathan Clement raced to silver on Thursday in the men's T1 time trial  (Canadian Paralympic Committee/@CDNParalympics - image credit)
West Vancouver, B.C.'s Nathan Clement raced to silver on Thursday in the men's T1 time trial (Canadian Paralympic Committee/@CDNParalympics - image credit)

Canadian athletes are off to a fast start at the 2022 World Para-cycling championships in Baie-Comeau, Que.

On Thursday, Nathan Clement of West Vancouver, B.C., picked up the silver medal in the men's 18.9-kilometre T1 time trial, while Toronto, Ont. native Shelley Gautier finished with the bronze medal in the women's event.

''I'm really happy with the race,'' Clement said, ''I felt like the lines that I came up with were really good."

Clement, a former Team Canada Paralympic swimmer, had a stroke as a two-year-old and tore a muscle in his right hip last season, which left him unable to walk for two months. After that, he suffered an ankle injury which was a further setback.

A year later, he has a world championship medal around his neck.

''There's still a lot of things I need to learn as an athlete and cyclist but overall, way ahead from where I expected to be in this sport at this time.''

Italian Giorgio Farroniey won the men's T1 race with a time of 37 minutes 31.02 seconds, with Clement second in 38:50.49 and Gonzalo Garcia Abella of Spain third in 39:30.04.

Gautier returns to the podium

Being on a world championship podium is not a new experience for Gautier, having won 18 world titles in her career.

At 54, she continues to be one of the strongest athletes in her sport, winning the time trial at last year's world championships in Portugal.

''There are two new competitors in my category who are lighter and faster than me, so I managed to get third, and I'm excited about that,'' the three-time Paralympian said. ''I'll do some strategies, and I'm going to be competitive next year still.

Dutch athlete Marieke Van Soest was the winner in 42:49.93 and Duice Gonzalez Guerrero of Mexico second in 46:32.26. Gautier followed in 49:59.90.

Canadians come close in H2, T2

Matthew Kinnie of Riverview, N.B, nearly made his way onto the podium in the men's H2 race, finishing in fourth place to match his result from last year's world championships. At the same time, Louis Albert Corriveau Jolin of St. Claire, Que., took the eighth spot in the men's T2 time trial.

''I didn't have a good warm-up, but I gave it everything I had,''  Kinnie, 39, said. ''The community here is so supportive. They don't mind the road closures they sit on their front porches with signs cheering us on.''

Racing continues on Aug. 13 and 14, with the road races streaming live on CBC Sports, CBC Sports app and on CBC Gem.