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Traffic chaos but no road rage from bronze medallist David Stone
Rawdon cyclist David Stone refused to be downbeat despite seeing his dreams of defending his Paralympic time trial crown derailed by a traffic jam at Brands Hatch.
The 31-year-old endured a dominant campaign in Beijing four years ago, topping the podium in both the time trial and the road race but found the going far tougher on home soil.
Competing over one 8km lap of the former British Grand Prix circuit, Stone found himself having to dodge other competitors on a packed day of racing which saw 18 finals in all and two others finishing at the same time as his.
In the end Stone completed the lap in 14.25.66 seconds, second overall, but was dropped into bronze after the time of Australian cyclist Carol Cooke was factored from 15.58.39 to 13.50.54secs to take account of the severity of her disability.
It was a tough result to take for the three time world time trial champion but despite arriving with ambitions of gold he refused to make excuses.
“I’m disappointed I guess because I was hoping for better. It was really hard because there was a lot of traffic on the course and it slowed me down,” he said.
“The Australian did a really good ride though and she beat me fair and square so I’m okay with that.
“It was very busy and two of the bikes almost completely blocked me at one point. It wasn’t for long but you lose your rhythm and it is hard to get it back. That was disappointing but I’m okay with it and I’ve got another medal.”
Stone has one last shot at gold on Saturday when he bids to defend his remaining Paralympic title in the road race, but is refusing to get ahead of the game.
“It was amazing and it was great to have all the people come out and support us.
“I’ve got the road race on Saturday and I’m always hopeful and I have a good chance but we will have to wait and see.
“It was a very loud crowd and it was wonderful to be competing at your home Games and to have all of them cheering you round.”
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