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June 27, 2006 > 2006 World Deaf Cycling Championships

2006 World Deaf Cycling Championships

by Biff Jones

The 2006 World Deaf Cycling Championships (WDCC) was organized under the auspices of the International Committee of Deaf Sports, a member of the International Olympic Committee, and hosted by the USA Deaf Sports Federation, a member of the U.S. Olympic Committee.  The organizing committee of the week-long championships that took place in the Bay Area June 19-24, 2006 was comprised of members of the California Deaf Wheelers (CDW), a recreational cycling club. Local hosts, CDW, assisted by the California School for the Deaf (CSD) of Fremont, sacrificed personal dollars and time to ensure that the foreign cyclists were welcomed to the United States.

This is the first time this international competition took place on U.S soil.  The venues throughout the Bay Area ranged from the Hellyer Park Velodrome in San Jose to the Pescadero Road Course, stretching from Half Moon Bay to Santa Cruz.  Twelve nations were represented in the week-long event including Australia, Canada, Chinese Taipei, Colombia, the Czech Republic, France, Italy, New Zealand, Russia, Slovakia, South Africa, and the United States.  Union Cycliste Internationale, the international governing body of cycling, and USA Cycling, sanctioned all races.

The 2006 Championships opened on Monday, June 19 with the 1000 Meter (1094 yards) Sprint at the Hellyer Park Velodrome featuring competitors from all 12 nations.  Paul Wood of the United States won the 1000m Sprint, giving the U.S. its first gold medal of the Championships.  Nick Schreiber of the U.S. and Luis Carlos Sanchez of Colombia won Silver and Bronze respectively. 

Tuesday, June 20 the Championships moved to CSD in Fremont for the Short Course Mountain Bike Race.  This race took place on the home turf of many of the WDCC staffers.  The gold medalist for the this race was Luigi Cucco of  Italy, while swimmer- turned cyclist Terence Parkin of  South Africa won silver by edging out Wayne Langbein of the U.S., who took bronze.  Langbein also switched sports by going from a shot putt and hammer throw athlete in track and field to cyclist.

Wednesday, June 21 saw the cyclists take to the hills on San Antonio Valley Road for the 35km (21 mile) time trial race.  In this race the cyclists compete against the clock with one minute interval start times.  The race was held at 2,900 feet between the Livermore Hills and Mount Hamilton under the hot California sun.  Nick Schreiber of the U.S. took gold to add to his previously won silver.  Pavel Pastrnek and Josef Merunka of the Czech Republic were the silver and bronze medal winners respectively.

Thursday, June 22 brought the racers back to the Hellyer Park Velodrome for the 40km Points Race in which teams of four cyclists from each country competed as a tight pack racing around the velodrome at speeds of 30 mph.  Team USA featured sprinters Trevor Kosa, Nick Schreiber, Scott Staubach and Paul Wood.  With the help of his teammates, Schreiber again came up with a first place finish.  This made Schreiber the General Classification Yellow Jersey holder.  The silver went to Austria while Russia took bronze.

Friday, June 23 was a day for another Mountain Bike Race.  This time it was the long course held at Santa Theresa Park in San Jose in almost unbearable heat.  Even though an ambulance stood by in case of any emergency, the EMT personnel only had to treat the fleshy scrapes sustained from falls over the rough terrain.  The winner of the gold medal was South African Johan Reyneke.  Julius Matovcik of Slovakia took silver and the bronze went to Michael Irsara of Italy.

Saturday, June 24 closed out the Championships with the 120km (75 mile) Pescadero Road Race.  This race was a spectacular 28 mile loop while climbing 1800 feet through coastal dunes and redwood groves around the coastal town of Pescadero. Terence Parkin of South Africa captured first place followed by Luis Carlos Sanchez of Columbia and Frantisek Kocourek of the Czech Republic who took second and third positions respectively. Sixth place finisher Nick Schreiber was the highest USA entrant.

The World Deaf  Cycling Championships concluded with a banquet Saturday evening at City Beach in Fremont where video highlights of the 75 mile Pescadero Road Race were shown.

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