Team USA earns four Omnium medals, two top-six finishes to conclude track world championships in Paris
by Kristen Gowdy
Mary-Kate Wintz and Hannah Chadwick compete in the Sprint WB race at the 2022 UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships. (Photo: Casey Gibson)
MONTIGNY-LE-BRETTONEUX, FRANCE – Team USA athletes were awarded four Omnium medals across four different classifications as the 2022 UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships concluded at the Vélodrome de Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, the venue that will host the Paralympic Games Paris 2024.
The U.S. finished the competition with 12 medals – seven silver and five bronze.
Paralympic medalists Samantha Bosco (Claremont, California) and Aaron Keith (Woodinville, Washington) took home their third silver medals of the competition in the WC4 and MC1 Omnium competitions, respectively, while teammates Clara Brown (Falmouth, Maine) and John Terrell (Converse, Texas) earned bronze in the WC3 and MC4 classifications. Omnium points were calculated based on results from four events across the competition: individual pursuit, scratch, time trial and 200-meter flying start.
Additionally, five Team USA athletes raced on the final day of competition in the tandem and team sprint events. Keith teamed with track cycling veterans Chris Murphy (Rancho Cucamonga, California) and Justin Widhalm (Bridgeport, Nebraska) for sixth in the team sprint, while world championships rookies Hannah Chadwick (El Cerrito, California) and Mary-Kate Wintz (Cincinnati, Ohio) put together a strong fifth-place result in the Sprint WB.
Widhalm rounds out his eighth career world championships with two top-six finishes, including fourth in yesterday’s 1-kilometer Time Trial MC4.
“It’s just a real culmination of knowing that you went out there and were able to perform the way you should. Having no excuses, just going out and not thinking about it – just doing it.
And finishing this weekend by racing with Chris and Aaron was amazing. There isn’t anyone else I’d want to be on the track with.”
Murphy earned silver in the 1-Kilometer Time Trial MC4 yesterday for his eighth career world championships medal.
Chadwick and Wintz, meanwhile, conclude their first international competition as a team with two top-10 finishes. Team USA’s only tandem bike at this event, they also placed sixth in yesterday’s 1-kilometer Time Trial WB.
“Overall, we’re feeling really good,” Chadwick said. “Next year, the goal is to podium. I think in the beginning of the year, MK and I were talking about maybe making top-10, and I remember saying to myself that I didn’t want to just make top-10, I wanted to at least be top-five. The amount of work we put into it, I want us to podium next year.”
The duo set personal bests in both of their events this weekend.
“Not only did we show up against some of the most competitive bikes there are, but we were able to compete,” Wintz said. “That’s just really huge for our first time here. I’m excited to see what we can do with a little more time and with the support that we’re getting from Team USA. Coming out of this, we have a lot of hunger and fire to be on the podium next year.”
Team USA rounded out the competition with its four Omnium podium ceremonies. For Keith, a third appearance on the medal stand in four days of competition represents the best result he’s ever had in his storied world championships career. Now a 10-time world championships medalist, the 2020 Paralympic silver medalist has competed in 12 world championships across road and track. His 10 medals include one rainbow jersey, which he won on the road in 2019.
This weekend, Keith took silver in the individual pursuit and scratch race – his first career international scratch medal – as well as finishing third in his 200-meter flying start and fourth in his time trial. Both of his medal performances were within fractions of a second off the gold medal pace.
“Picking up enough points to take Omnium silver is great,” Keith said. “I’m pleased with how I raced … Riding as well as I did, I can’t expect too much more from myself. It’s been tough because I don’t think we’ve ever had a track worlds at this time of year. Having this back-to-back when usually we have track worlds in February or March has been a quick turnaround and a learning experience for me.”
With her Omnium silver, Bosco concludes the most successful season of her career and a comeback performance that saw her miss Tokyo 2020 after a training accident before surging in 2022 to an overall road world cup title, two rainbow jerseys on the road and now three medals at the track world championships.
Bosco is now a 15-time world championships medalist, and this is the second time she has won an Omnium medal in her career, having taken silver in 2020 as well.
“Last summer was a truly difficult time for me, there were a lot of ups and downs,” Bosco said. “For me, it was just about living in the moment this season and enjoying it, because I love cycling and I want to give it my best. I feel like I’m doing that.”
A Tokyo Paralympian and the 2020 WC3 time trial and Omnium world champion, Brown’s three bronze medals in Montigny-Le-Brettoneux come after she won a rainbow jersey on the road in August. This week, she took bronze in her scratch race and her individual pursuit, while also taking fourth in the 200-meter flying start and the time trial.
“It was a really tough mental weekend for me, so to be able to come out with a bronze overall is huge,” Brown said. “I’m feeling relieved, grateful and excited by this performance and looking forward to the offseason. My plans are to really focus on my strength and conditioning program. I have the endurance, it’s just the raw power that I need. Looking at the road courses next year, they definitely lack hills, so I’m going to prioritize building that this offseason.”
In his track world championships debut, Terrell impressed with two bronze medals in the MC4 competition, including a thrilling scratch race performance that boosted him into the running for Omnium bronze. Terrell broke onto the international para-cycling scene this year after winning medals at the road world cups in May. He then made back-to-back worlds debuts in the road and track competitions.
“There’s been a lot of progression this year for me,” he said. “I’ve been training really consistently for four years and haven’t been able to make a team. Making the national team this year, I just looked at where I was and the opportunity I had. I just made the absolute most of it. Knowing there are two years until the Games, I know I can continue to progress.”
The 2022 UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships marked the final international competition of 2022 for U.S. Paralympics Cycling athletes. The team will spend the offseason continuing to build for the 2023 UCI Para-cycling World Championships, as well as the 2023 Parapan American Games, which are set for Santiago, Chile, in November 2023.
For media requests and photo inquiries, please contact Kristen Gowdy at Kristen.Gowdy@usopc.org.