September 14, 2008 (Beijing, China) — GeneviÃ¨ve Ouellet of Amos, Que., and her guide Mathilde Hupin of Bromont, Que., won the bronze medal Sunday in the women’s road race for visually impaired to conclude the paracycling competition at the Paralympic Games.
The Canadian tandem clocked the 72.6 kilometre race in two hours and 01 minutes and 17 seconds to win a sprint to the finish over Australians Lindy Hou and Toireasa Gallagher.
“It’s unbelievable for me that I won a medal at the Paralympics,” said Ouellet, a former Paralympic national team swimmer. “With two laps to go we knew we were in medal contention and really pushed hard. The road race was our main focus and we worked hard in training on the climbs and that paid off. We were technically perfect on the climbs today.”
Hupin, who joined forces with Ouellet last year, earned her doctorate in medicine this year and is working in residence. She was unable to attend her graduation ceremony on Saturday.
“I missed not being at the graduation but this experience was certainly worth it,” said Hupin, a former national level mountain bike racer. “Being a guide cyclist was a new challenge for me and when we had success quickly it really motivated me to keep going until the Games.”
Irina Fiadotava and Alena Drazdova of Ukraine won gold in 1:55:35 and Karissa Whitsell and Mackenzie Woodring of the U.S., were second in 1:58.35.
In the men’s road race for visually impaired, StÃ©phane CÃ´tÃ© of Quebec City and Pierre-Olivier Boily of Roberval, Que., were sixth, Daniel Chalifour of Lac-des-Ã‰corces, Que., and his guide Alexandre Cloutier of Quebec City seventh and Brian Cowie of Burnaby, B.C., and Devon Smibert of Calgary 15th.
In the men’s handcycling road race Rico Morneau of Ste-Martine, Que., and Mark Beggs of Montreal were ninth and 10th respectively.
Canadian paracyclists concluded the Games with two bronze medals after being absent from the podium in 2004. Jean QuÃ©villon of Ste-AdÃ¨le, Que., was third in the individual pursuit on the track last Sunday.