VIS success at inaugural mega UCI World Championships

The 2023 UCI World Cycling Championships have wrapped up with several VIS athletes competing across Track, Road, BMX Racing and Mountain Bike disciplines. From World Record holders to debuts, the World Championships provided a full spectrum of podium finishes, experiences and memories to last a lifetime.

The inaugural 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships finished in Glasgow last Sunday, seeing eleven days of competition, thirteen separate UCI World Championships and more than 200 rainbow jerseys on offer. The event brought together both Para and Able-bodied races with the world’s greatest riders, whilst developing the next generation of UCI world champions.

Fourteen VIS athletes were in full force throughout the eleven days, bringing home seven medals across multiple disciplines.


The Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome served as a noise cauldron, alight with tension and energy as riders left everything on the track.

Paralympic Champion and World Record holder, Emily Petricola, maintained her power, poise, and stamina to take home her fourth consecutive win in the Women’s C4 Individual Pursuit, also claiming her ninth World cycling title.

Image: VIS Head Coach (Track) Shane Kelly together with Emily after her win. 

Tandem duo Jessica Gallagher and partner Caitlin Ward showed us how cruel the track can be, fighting to the last milliseconds in the Women’s B Sprint to miss out on the rainbow jersey by 0.060 seconds, claiming silver for Australia. They also took home the silver medal after a terrific ride in the Women’s B 1km Time Trial.

In a huge effort for her second Para Track World Championship appearance, Erin Rowell competed in 4 different track events, taking home a bronze medal in the Women’s Elite C4 500m Time Trial. She finished 5th in both the Women’s Elite C4 Omnium and Mixed Elite C0 Team Sprint and 11th in the Women’s Elite C4 Individual Pursuit.

“I’ve still got that hunger, that drive, and that fire. I’m not done yet. Scotland, you’ve given me memories for a lifetime. And now, we’re onto the next adventure,” said Rowell.

A combined effort saw Kelland O’Brien and his team claim 4th in the Men’s Elite Team Pursuit, and O’Brien placed 15th in Men’s Elite Omnium. 

VIS Head Coach (Track) Shane Kelly was the Australian Lead Para-Track Sprint Coach at the championships and coached Emily Petricola for all her events, also assisting with the Tandem and Erin Rowell's training in lead up to the World Championships.


Every kilometre mattered for our road athletes in a ruthless contest of speed and stamina throughout Scotland’s most challenging roads.

Backing up her success on the track, Emily Petricola placed 2nd in both the Women’s Elite C4 Individual Time Trial (ITT) and the Women’s Elite C4 Individual Road Race, maintaining her podium streak.

Paralympian, Carol Cooke, rode in her ninth  World Road Championships, showing the world that age means nothing over heart and grit. She finished 5th in both the Women’s Elite T2 ITT and Women’s Elite T2 Individual Road Race. 

The success continued for the VIS women with Grace Brown claiming silver in the Women’s Elite ITT, coming in 5.67 seconds behind the rainbow jersey.

Debuting in her first UCI Women’s Elite ITT World Championships, Georgie Howe, reached her goal to make the top 10, admitting she was happy with her result but now has hunger for more.

Incredible efforts by Lucas Plapp finishing in 6th place in the Team Time Trial Mixed Relay and Talia Appleton placing 19th in a tough Women’s Junior Road Race.

Cohen Jessen and Patrick Eddy qualified for the Men’s Junior Road Race and Men’s U23 Road Race respectively, but unfortunately did not finish. 

BMX Racing:

In a course filled with high speed curves and big jumps, Joshua Jolly made it through to the semi final in the Men’s Junior BMX Racing, placing 10th overall.

Mountain Bike (MTB):

Young VIS athletes Jack Ward and Cohen Jessen raced in the Junior Men’s Cross-Country Olympic event, placing 46th and 74th respectively after some tough set-backs early on in the race. Jessen was also the first Australian Men’s Junior to compete in two different disciplines at a World Championship, Road and MTB, sine Cadel Evans in the 90’s. What an incredible achievement qualifying for both events which have huge differences in strategy and skill.

A hard-fought ride by Men’s U23 rider Domenic Paolilli saw him place 51st in the Cross-Country Olympic discipline. 

The mega UCI World Cycling Championships will remain a pinnacle event in the Cycling calendar, held every four years in the year preceding the Summer Olympic Games. The event has undoubtedly inspired new fans to the sport and created a new experience for athletes.

Image: Cover Image: Getty Images. 

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