Simon Price has strengthened his claims for a ticket to next summer’s Paralympics by retaining his national time trial crown.
The Thorpe Satchville para-cyclist returned from his third World Cup event of the year in South Africa for the season-ending British Cycling National Time Trial Championships, in Derbyshire.
Faced with two laps of an undulating circuit, Price upped the pace in the second half of the trial to finish 38 seconds ahead of young British squad rider Louis Rolfe.
“I’m almost starting to enjoy this type of TT circuit,” he said. “I was delighted to produce a very good ride with a negative split.
“I’m going to take a short break from training this week before resuming a tough winter block.
“This will lead into a very important 2016 season and the push for Rio Paralympic Games selection.”
Price, who turned 46 on Monday, came agonisingly close to a first World Cup podium at Pietermaritzburg, finishing fourth in the time trial before a mechanical problem robbed him in the road race.
But a consistent season has moved Price up to fifth in the world rankings and heading in the right direction for a potential dream medal in Rio.
He added: “It was disappointing not to end the World Cup season with a podium, but I was pleased with both performances and also with a solid, long season.”
It was a case of unlucky 13 for Price in the opening 16km time trial, finishing this dreaded number of seconds outside of the medal positions.
Price rode even splits over the two laps of a testing 8km course, stopping the clock in 24min 26secs, just 27 seconds behind winner and newly-crowned world time trial champion Arslan Gilmutdinov, of Russia.
The road race included C1, C2 and C3 category riders competing over nine laps of a 6km circuit.
A poor surface on parts of the course played havoc with Price’s bike and brought the chain off several times.
The Leicestershire rider was able to bridge the gap after each delay for repairs. And with the finish line almost in sight looked favourite for second place behind breakaway winner Maurice Eckhard, of Spain until disaster struck.
“When it happened on the last very rough left bend at 400m to go there wasn’t time to rectify the situation,” he said.
“I’d placed myself well in the last two kilometres and when the acceleration started I used my position behind the leading C3 riders to steal a lead on my C2 competitors. I was on for second place when I had the mechanical.”
The hold-up relegated Price down to seventh behind Eckhard and world road race champion Israel Rimas, of Peru, who took the final podium position.