Bosco surges to worlds silver, highlights three-medal second night for Team USA
by Kristen Gowdy
Samantha Bosco races to a silver medal in the 3-kilometer Individual Pursuit WC4 at the 2022 UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships. (Photo: Casey Gibson)
MONTIGNY-LE-BRETTONEUX, FRANCE – In a moment that just a year ago she thought might never come, Samantha Bosco (Claremont, California) clinched her third world championships medal of 2022 and her first of the year on the track to lead the United States on the second night of racing at the UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships. Bosco’s silver medal in the 3-kilometer Individual Pursuit WC4 highlighted the three-medal night for Team USA, which also received bronze medal performances from Paralympian Clara Brown (Falmouth, Maine) and track worlds rookie John Terrell (Converse, Texas).
Bosco’s medal comes on the heels of the best season of her career. The two-time Paralympic medalist won every road race at the world cup level in which she competed this season and capped it with two rainbow jerseys at road world championships over the summer.
For Bosco, it has not been just her most successful season on her bike, but also one she said she will savor the most. After a training accident kept her from competing at the Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 after she had already qualified for the team, Bosco thought her career might be over.
Now, she’s a silver medalist at the venue that will host track cycling at Paris 2024.
“For me to be here on a track thinking that I wasn’t potentially ever going to ride a bike again, I don’t think I can put it into words,” she said. To think that I could be here in two years racing my bike and representing Team USA with a shot at a Paralympic gold medal is something I’m going to take with me once I leave here and use for the next year and a half.”
Bosco’s individual pursuit performance came a day after she placed second in the 200-meter flying start and fifth in the 500-meter time trial. All three races count toward her Omnium score, where she currently sits second.
She will complete her campaign for the Omnium title in tomorrow’s 10-kilometer scratch race.
“I went into this year truly just focused on racing my bike and giving it all I had since I had another shot at it,” Bosco said. “The lyrics to one of my favorite songs are ‘I’ve got one more shot to pull off the impossible,’ and I truly feel like I have that shot, and I just want to take advantage of it.”
Brown and Terrell teamed for a pair of bronze medals in their respective scratch races, the 10-kilometer WC3 and the 15-kilometer MC4. Both races were decided by milliseconds, and the podiums keep both riders in the mix for Omnium medals.
The podium was the first of Terrell’s world championships career. The 28-year-old has had a quick rise in the sport this season and is enjoying his first season on the national team. After success in the road world cup season, he debuted on his first road world championships team in August before qualifying for track world championships.
Terrell credits his success this season to an offseason spent training in Girona, Spain. He returned to the United States in peak fitness and was able to earn a spot on his first national team.
“It’s been surreal but also confirming, just knowing I had more resources than I had ever had before this year,” he said. “I’ve made great use of them and seeing how far that’s gotten me, it excites me and motivates me to see where I can make more improvements.”
Today, Terrell raced beyond his years, utilizing the help of his coach, Olympic medalist Sarah Hammer-Kroening, to nearly pull off an upset victory in the 15-kilometer scratch.
With 12 laps to go, Terrell left the field behind and was only caught on the final stretch. It took the whole field working together to catch him.
“You’re constantly reassessing, so when I got off the front and no one was chasing me down, and I passed the leader, at that point it was either commit or pull back,” he said. “Sarah was coaching me on the side and telling me to go, and I listen to Sarah. She has a ton of experience, and it’s so critical in a race like this, just trusting that the coach is watching things.”
Terrell is currently in second place in the MC4 Omnium standings with just Saturday’s 1-kilometer time trial remaining.
Brown eked out Team USA’s second bronze medal of the night in the 10-kilometer Scratch WC3 competition. After an early attack, Brown remained with the pack for most of a tight race, pulling into the bronze medal position in the last lap and holding off the field for the third world championships medal of her 2022 season.
“It was a lot of strategy and preserving as much energy as possible because it was clear from about halfway through that it was going to come down to a final sprint,” she said. “It was a great learning experience.”
Brown is coming off one of her best road cycling seasons, having captured her first road rainbow jersey in August. She said heading into this competition, she was also seeking redemption on the track after what she felt was an underperformance in her Paralympic debut in Tokyo last summer.
“It was an exceptional year on the road for me, and it was challenging to make such a quick turnover to track” Brown said. “It was nice to have it pay off with a medal. It’s not all about results, but to have tangible proof that I’m where I want to be is a good feeling.”
In a 15-kilometer Scratch MC5 race that came down to the final lap, Team USA’s Bryan Larsen (Placerville, California) pulled out the best finish of his young para-cycling career, finishing fifth. In his international para-cycling debut, Larsen is currently fifth in the MC5 Omnium standings after two top-10 finishes yesterday. He will compete in the time trial tomorrow to round out his first worlds appearance.
Four-time Paralympic medalist Shawn Morelli (Meadville, Pennsylvania) picked up her third consecutive top-five finish of the weekend with a stellar showing in the 3-kilometer Individual Pursuit WC4. In her first international competition since the Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020, the veteran impressed by earning a spot in the bronze medal final, where she was edged by Australian Meg Lemon. Morelli posted a time of 3:58.799 in the final.
Already a silver medalist in Montigny-le-Brettoneux, Aaron Keith (Woodinville, Washington) just missed his second podium of the weekend, taking fourth in the 1000-meter Time Trial MC1. Less than 24 hours after winning the first international scratch medal of his career, Keith kept himself in the running for the Omnium podium with a 1:16.329 performance in the time trial. The 2020 Paralympic medalist has another quick turnaround, as he is scheduled to compete in the 3-kilometer Individual Pursuit MC1 qualifying heats on Saturday morning.
All sessions of the 2022 para-cycling track world championships are streamed live here. Follow U.S. Paralympics Cycling on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for updates from Montigny-le-Brettoneux. For full results from the 2022 UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships, please click here.
For media requests and photo inquiries, please contact Kristen Gowdy at Kristen.Gowdy@usopc.org.