At the Youth Olympic Games, the WCC trainees were in the spotlight
At the Youth Olympic Games, the cyclists are in competition for three gold medals: team events for Men, Women and mixed relay. This is an exclusive YOG format that puts the emphasis on the versatility of the athletes, who have to take part in BMX, mountain bike and road events.
In the Men’s Road Race event, which counts towards the Men’s Team Event, the UCI's World Cycling Centre placed two of its trainees at the forefront, one taking the lead: the South African Ivan Venter won the race, and the Brazilian Rodrigo Dos Santos Quirino finished in 3rd place. Venter, who is based at the African satellite of the WCC in South Africa, was delighted with his result: “The hard work paid off; thank you to all of those who supported me at the Federation, at Nanjing and at the WCC!” All his efforts being sufficiently recognised, the young rider has since been chosen to ride in the UCI Road World Championships at Ponferrada, Spain. Other representatives of the WCC also performed well: Abderrahim Zahiri (Morocco) and Andrej Petrovski (FYR Macedonia) finished 12th and 15th. It was Colombia which, in the end, stepped up onto the highest step on the podium.
The Women weren’t left out of the spotlight. Several Juniors who will be joining the WCC distinguished themselves in Nanjing. The Brazilian Ana Paula Casetta won the road race, while the Japanese rider Kiyoka Sakaguchi and the Serb Jelena Eric finished 10th and12th respectively. “I came here to get international experience and to compete with the best, but this result exceeds all my hopes,” enthused the young auriverde. However, it was Italy which won the event. These three young athletes will rejoin, from Monday onwards, a group of nine riders who will complete – at Aigle, in Switzerland – their final preparation for the UCI Road World Championships in Ponferrada (21-28 September).
Still in the Women’s category, the Equatorian rider Domenica Azuero dominated the BMX competition. A trainee at the WCC, the young South American pilot confirmed her superiority in the Juniors category, brilliantly awarded the rainbow jersey of UCI World Champion in her category, at the end of July in Rotterdam.
Czech Republic topped the mixed relay event.
Following Singapore (2010) and Nanjing, the next edition of the Youth Summer Olympic Games will be staged in 2018 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, visiting South America for the first time.