KADEENA Cox admitted home advantage and the prospect of getting one over close friend Dame Sarah Storey spurred her on to TISSOT UCI Track Cycling World Cup victory in London.
Making her first track appearance since the Rio Paralympics in 2016, 27-year-old Cox from Leeds beat off strong competition from British legend Storey to take gold in last week’s C4-5 500m time trial.
This event at Lee Valley VeloPark was the first time para events have been fully integrated into the Track World Cup programme, with Cox’s victory seeing her make history in becoming GB’s first World Cup champion in a para discipline.
And Cox – Paralympic champion in both athletics and cycling – hailed a bold move forward for both able-bodied and para-cycling at the home of London 2012.
“It’s amazing to win,” she said. “I’ve not raced since Rio so to come back and get the win is an amazing opportunity and for it to be in this stadium, I couldn’t be any happier.
“I love racing when there’s a home crowd, they are the best kind of crowd to have behind you.
“The British always get really behind you. It was just great to be here, to race in such an iconic stadium, I’m happy.
“It’s definitely an historic time for para sport and I think Britain is always leading the way on that. It’s an amazing thing to have us all included together.
“It’s something that’s been needed for so many years, for us to feel included, because we are all British athletes and we should all compete together.
“There’s no reason why we can’t do that.”
Cox also revealed her friendly rivalry with Storey provided extra motivation ahead of her first World Cup appearance.
“I do like Sarah, but I also like beating her!
“It’s always good to get one up on Sarah but it’s the only event I could beat her at because she’s amazing at everything else,” she added of Britain’s most successful Paralympian.
“It’s a special moment. To come back with a win in London I couldn’t have asked for anything better.
“The crowd’s amazing, the track’s amazing and because I didn’t get to race at the Paralympics in London it’s amazing to come back here and get a win.
“We qualified in the fastest time we’ve done outside of the Games so it’s good signs. I couldn’t have asked for more.”
The next TISSOT UCI Track Cycling World Cup on UK boards takes place at the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome in Glasgow from 8-10 November 2019. Sign up now at bit.ly/NextStopGlasgow to access tickets before they go on sale to the general public.