A Paralympic games that began in disaster, heartbreak and no little anger for cyclist Jody Cundy ended on a high at the weekend when the man from Wisbech took bronze in the C4 4km individual pursuit.
Jody, who is sponsored by Chartwell Insurance – which provides a range of policies for people with disabilities – was controversially not allowed a restart in the K1 time trial on Friday after there appeared to be a fault with the starting gate, causing the rider’s back wheel to spin.
But the officials refused to allow Jody a second start and therefore denied the hot favourite the chance to defend his title.
The 33-year-old had a quick chance to make amends on Saturday and rode an extraordinary race to take bronze in the pursuit, a 16-lap event which would not normally play to the strengths of a rider with such raw speed.
But, bursting from the gate like a man on a mission, Jody took just five laps to chase down Columbian Diego German Duenas Gomez and secure bronze. The double Beijing gold medallist caught his opponent and punched the air in victory as the gun sounded to signal the end of the final.
Incredibly, he rode the first four laps of the pursuit in 1:05.317 which, had he been allowed to ride the Kilo, would have won him gold.
Speaking after the race, Jody spoke of his gratitude for the home support: “I was starting to panic because my legs were completely gone after four and a half laps, but I couldn’t let the crowd down and they carried me home.
“The support here has been more incredible than anything I’ve experienced before. It really has been amazing, thank you to everyone for cheering me on. I’m fully committed to Rio in 2016 as I still have unfinished business.”