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, from Leeds, 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,” said Stone. “It was really hard because there was a lot of traffic on the course and it slowed me down. The Australian did a really good ride though and she beat me fair and square so I’m ok 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 ok 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,” he added.
“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.”
Sarah Storey took her tally of Paralympic golds to 10 by claiming a third of a possible four successes at London 2012 with a dominant performance at Brands Hatch.
The 34-year-old, from Manchester, won two titles in the velodrome and added gold in the women’s C5 16-kilometre time-trial.
Storey finished in 22 minutes 40 seconds and will today ride in the 64km road race seeking to level Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson’s haul of 11 Paralympic golds.
Storey’s Paralympic career began as a 14-year-old in Barcelona and she won five titles as a swimmer before a series of ear infections saw her turn her attentions to the bike between Athens and Beijing. Following two golds in 2008, including in the time-trial, Storey now has a hat-trick on home soil in her sixth Games and an equal number of cycling and swimming golds.
“I’m absolutely delighted,” she said. “It’s just amazing to get around the circuit so quick.
“To think I’ve done what I did in swimming, now on a bike, it’s not sunk in at all. I’m not sure it ever will.”
Halifax cyclist Karen Darke claimed a silver medal after she was second to Marianna Davis of the United States in the H2 event.
“I guess I secretly hoped I could get a gold but it’s a really, really good result for me,” said Darke.
Mark Colbourne claimed silver in the men’s C1 time-trial – his third medal of the Games.
There was more gold medal success at the Aquatics Centre where Oliver Hynd became Paralympic champion in the SM8 200 metres individual medley.
The 17-year-old Nova Centurion swimmer went into the race with a silver and bronze already from the meet.
Robert Welbourn took bronze in the 400m freestyle, and Hannah Russell finished third in the S12 100m backstroke before Charlotte Henshaw won SB6 100m breaststroke silver and team-mate Liz Johnson collected bronze. City of Salford swimmer Louise Watkin rounded off the medals for Britain with silver in the S9 50m freestyle.
At the Olympic Stadium, David Devine claimed his second medal in two days by coming from way back to win 800m bronze. The Liverpool athlete finished third over 1500m on Tuesday night.
Elsewhere, Peter Norfolk and Andy Lapthorne lost out in their bid for wheelchair tennis quad doubles gold as American duo David Wagner and Nick Taylor beat them 6-2 5-7 6-2 at Eton Manor.
Middlesbrough’s Terry Bywater, who trains in Sheffield, steered Team GB to a semi-final place in the semi-finals of the wheelchair basketball as they defeated Turkey 75-70.
An 11-point lead disappeared as Turkey closed to within 71-70 with 20 seconds left before Bywater then went to the foul line twice and hit all four of his free throws.
The 29-year-old, who was born with no bones in his left leg and had it amputated when he was aged two, said: “I told them I was going to do it for my son Benjamin. He was in the crowd and I was watching him.
“That’s why I kissed my arm at the end of it – that’s the emotion I’m showing because (my family) have helped me through it.”
Bywater finished with 23 points and 13 rebounds to lead Britain to victory.
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