CAIRO, March 17 (Xinhua) -- France's cyclists Clara Copponi and Valentine Fortin dominated the women's madison final race on Thursday evening at the 2023 International Cycling Union (UCI) Track Nations Cup in Cairo.
During the 120 laps around Cairo's 250-meter track to cover 30 kilometers, which went on for over 35 breathtaking minutes, the competition was fierce between the two-rider teams of France, Denmark and New Zealand, who shared the podium in the same order.
It is the second gold Copponi and Fortin brought to their nation in Cairo, as the pair was part of France's four-rider team who won on Wednesday the 4,000-meter women's team pursuit over their New Zealand's opponents.
"After the gold in women's team pursuit, it is so special to bring another gold today," Fortin told Xinhua after the race, expressing happiness with the performance of the French team in Cairo.
Her teammate Copponi said that it was good to finish her track Nations Cup season with gold.
"It's also a good beginning because we have a long way to go. The French team is on the right track. We won a medal in every race here so far," Copponi told Xinhua.
Running from March 14 to 17, UCI Track Nations Cup Cairo 2023 is a chance for participating athletes to progress in their bid to earn spots at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
Samuel Monnerais, a coach of the French women's team, explained that being held in Paris doesn't mean the French team has any advantage over others in the qualifications for the 2024 Olympic Games.
"We've been working hard for years to be ready for Paris 2024. I am happy with our results and proud of our riders," the French coach said. ■