21/04/2024
Darren Hicks

Darren Hicks wins Gold in the Men's C2 Time Trial in Tokyo. Photo: Australian Paralympic Team/Twitter

On Paralympic debut, Darren Hicks has added to his Individual Pursuit silver medal, claiming Gold in the Men's C2 Time Trial.

Australian Darren Hicks has won his second medal at the Tokyo Games, claiming Gold in the Men’s C2 Road Cycling Time Trial.

In his debut Paralympics, Hicks had already claimed Silver in the Men’s C2 3000m Individual Pursuit at the Izu Velodrome last Thursday.

The 36-year-old then took to the roads of Fuji International Speedway on Tuesday, for an early morning time trial that saw him reach his goal of winning gold at the Paralympics.

Hicks was the eighth racer to start the 24km time trial, as the event got underway at 8:00am local time.

After a strong start, he was 21.73 seconds ahead at the end of the first eight km lap and first time check.

The South Australian was fed the splits each lap, but at each one he was already two thirds of the way through his own lap.

His opponents were having some difficulties with their bikes, including Ewoud Vermont. The Belgium rider, who was disqualified for Hicks to move up a spot on the podium in the pursuit, required some assistance on his opening lap for an issue.

Through the second lap of three, Hicks continued to overtake the slower riders. At the end of 16km, he was ahead of the other times by more than one minute.

Hicks set the pace with his speed, averaging 41.543km/h across the challenging track. The time he had to beat to move into top position was 37:27.09 and he did it comfortably by more than two and a half minutes, posting a time of 34:39.78.

Frenchman Alexandre Leaute was pushing hard for Hicks’ position, but lost a chain and significant time in the final lap. He was still able to cross the line in a bronze medal winning time of 37:07.16.

However, it was not enough to overtake Belgium’s Vermont, who finished with Silver.

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In his post-race interview Hicks was speechless. Aware of his lead throughout the tough race, he knew he had to keep pushing to ensure the gold medal.

It was an emotional moment as he expressed how much it meant; relief the overriding sentiment, after wanting a Paralympic gold medal for some time.

He will hit the speedway again on Thursday in the Men’s C1-3 Road Race.

Australia also had medal success in the Women’s C4 Time Trial, with Individual Pursuit gold medallist Emily Petricola winning Silver. Meg Lemon made it two Australians on the podium as her time held on for a bronze medal.

Paige Greco also backed up her Individual Pursuit Gold with a Bronze in the Women’s C1-3 Time Trial.

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