Bosco, Brown secure road race golds, overall titles as world cup competition closes in Huntsville
by Kristen Gowdy
Clara Brown crosses the finish line at the 2023 UCI Para-Cycling Road World Cup in Huntsville. (Photo: Casey Gibson)
HUNSTVILLE, ALABAMA – Two double podiums and two overall world cup titles capped the first-ever U.S.-hosted UCI Para-Cycling Road World Cup for Team USA. Racing at Cummings Research Park in Huntsville, Alabama, Paralympians Sam Bosco (Claremont, California) and Clara Brown (Falmouth, Maine) captured overall world cup titles with victories in the WC4 and WC3 road races to put an exclamation point on a six-medal day for Team USA.
American teammates Shawn Morelli (Meadville, Pennsylvania), Aaron Keith (Woodinville, Washington) and Jamie Whitmore (Somerset, California), as well as the handcycle relay team of Travis Gaertner (Burien, Washington), Alicia Dana (Putney, Vermont) and Brandon Lyons (St. Augustine, Florida) also wrapped their competitions with medals to push Team USA’s total on the weekend to 22. The U.S. concludes the historic weekend by dominating the overall medal count – the next highest countries tied with 16 apiece – and placing second in the overall gold medal count.
Competing together in the WC4 race, Bosco and Morelli broke away from the pack early and rode together to hold off the rest of the field. They finished the 84.7-kilometer competition in 2:19.43, crossing the finish line together, Bosco’s front wheel inches ahead of Morelli’s.
“It was an amazing race, getting to race with Shawn,” Bosco said. “We looked out for each other and made sure both of us made it to the finish line. It was really nice to know that someone had my back and I had their back throughout the whole race.”
Despite skipping the Belgian leg of the world cup circuit, Bosco won all four road races in which she competed this season, giving her enough points for the overall title. For the three-time Paralympic champion Morelli, it was her second podium performance of the weekend after winning bronze in the time trial. The U.S. Army veteran finishes the world cup season with three medals in four races.
In the WC3 competition, Brown secured Team USA’s other overall world cup title in gold medal fashion, beating out Swede Anna Beck in a finish line sprint to win her second road race world cup medal and fifth overall medal of the 2023 world cup season.
Brown, the defending world champion in the time trial and world championships silver medal in the road race, also took silver in Huntsville in the time trial. Her overall victory was the second of her career.
“It means a lot,” Brown said. “It represents consistency, and just having a strong season from start to finish. It was really exciting to take the title here in Alabama.”
Also securing her second medal of the weekend in the WC3 races was the two-time Paralympic medalist Whitmore, who repeated her bronze medal performance in the time trial in today’s road race, crossing the finish line in 1:42:56.
Keith found the podium in his MC1 road race with a silver to accompany the time trial gold he won Saturday. In another close finish, Keith battled with Ricardo Ten Argiles of Spain for the gold medal, eventually dropping into silver medal position by less than a second. Keith’s time of 2:01:22 edged bronze medalist Carlos Gomez Soares by 10 seconds.
“It was a really tough day of racing, the course wasn’t creating a lot of selection,” Keith said. “Going into the last lap, Ricardo attacked, and I was the only one who was able to keep up with him, so we worked together that last lap and created a little bit of a gap. That was the difference.”
Rounding out Team USA’s medals was a thrilling, come-from-behind bronze in the relay. Dipping to as low as eighth place in the nine-lap race, the team of Gaertner, Dana and Lyons battled back to claim bronze with a time of 37:46.
It was Dana’s third medal of the weekend after she placed first and third in the WH3 competitions, while Lyons added his second medal in Huntsville. Gaertner, a two-time Paralympic champion in wheelchair basketball who is seeking his first Paralympic berth as a cyclist next summer in Paris, earned the first world cup podium of his season.
Team USA’s road cyclists will return to competition for the 2023 road world championships selection event on June 14 in Wisconsin. Follow U.S. Paralympics Cycling on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for updates and results as the team works toward the Glasgow 2023 UCI Para-Cycling Road World Championships.
For full results from the 2023 UCI Para-Cycling Road World Cup – Huntsville, presented by Toyota, please click here.
For media requests and photo inquiries, please contact Kristen Gowdy at Kristen.Gowdy@usopc.org.
Clara Brown – WC3
Samantha Bosco – WC4
Aaron Keith – MC1
Shawn Morelli – WC4
Jamie Whitmore – WC3
USA B (Travis Gaertner, Alicia Dana, Brandon Lyons) – Team Relay
Allison Jones – 4th, WC2
USA A (Freddie De Los Santos, Cody Wills, Ryan Pinney) – 6th, Team Relay
Jennifer Schuble – 6th, WC5
Noah Middlestaedt – 7th, MC3
Kyle Pitman – 7th, MC5
Christina Truesdale – 7th, WC3
Elizabeth Mis – 8th, WC5
Todd Key – 9th, MC1
John Terrell – 13th, MC4
Andrew Blackburn – 13th, MC5
C.J. Howard – 14th, MC4
Francis Reilly – 16th, MC4
Adrian Wright – 17th, MC1
Stanley Moore (with pilot David Gulick) – 18th, MB
Chester Triplett (with pilot Joseph Matta) – DNF, MB