2023 World ChampionshipsOwen Daniels
The 2023 paracycling world championships was held in Glasgow Scotland and I was excited to be able to compete in my second world championships wearing my countries colors. My first time competing for Team USA was 2021 in Portugal. Unlike my first time in Portugal I am was in much better shape and a different classification. Upon arriving in Scotland I noticed the weather was actually better than I imagined it would be. Leading up to the event in had been raining most of the time for the whole month leading up to this competition. Luckily for Team USA there was little to no rain during our trip overseas. Coming from California where it had been so hot this I welcomed the cool cloudy weather of Glasgow.
The first race of the 2023 world championships in Glasgow would be the 17 kilometer time trial. With the narrow country roads, the technical turns, and a short but steep climb the course would prove to be a difficult one. Since 2022 the time trial discipline has proven to be my strong suit and I was eager to show what I could do on this course following a gold medal in the time trial at the World cup in Ostend Belgium earlier in the year.
Sitting on the starting ramp watching the clock tick closer to my start time, I was surprisingly calm. I just kept thinking that I had done all the training to the best of my ability leading up to this race and it was time to put up or shut up. 3-2-1 Go! From the start it was full gas pushing out as much power as I could for the first 30 seconds then I began to get comfortable with a power output I thought I could hold for the rest of the race. Racingaoong the tight backroads I focused on a perfect race line trying to maximize my speeds through the tight corners. Everything was going well and I could hear my team usa follow car speaking g to me through my race radio. “You’re looking good you’re sitting in 10th place”, I could hear through my earpiece. Now I can’t say 10th place is what I wanted to hear as far my placing but I was giving it my all and was happy with my race so far. Approaching the most critical part of the course which was the short but steep climb, I was at my limit. With fatigue setting in I knew I had to give it everything I got to get over this climb and finish strong through the finish line. As I turn the corner I could see the steep climb and it was time to really push it. I surged forward with everything I had left focusing on breathing deep taking in as much oxygen as possible. Once over the hill it was a fast few miles at the end with sweeping turns. I was able to finish that final section with the 3rd fastest split time crossing the finish line in 12th place. When I crossed the line seeing 12th place I was a little disappointed. I had been so strong all year in the time trial discipline I expected more from myself. However, once I seen that 38 seconds separated 2nd through 12th place I realized I wasn’t far off from a podium performance. Knowing this I was happy with a 12th place finish.
The road race was another story for me. Possibly from my strong effort put forth in the time trial I was a little fatigued coming into the road race. From the start of the race I was able to stay with the front pack but just didn’t have the energy to keep it up for tye whole race. After about an hour in I dropped back from the front pack and slowly drifted back in the pack finishing in 18th place on that day. I gave it all I had at this world championships and fell just short of my goal of a podium performance. We live and we learn and I will continue to work towards even better results next year.