First world title gives Schrager ‘more faith’
Bara bike Daphne Schrager says winning her first world title less than three years after switching from athletics has given her “more belief” in her abilities.
The 21-year-old won the individual C3 competition at the Cycling World Championships in Paris last month.
Ex-runner Schrager joined British Cycling in December 2019.
“It doesn’t really change anything, just have a little more faith, train a little bit more hard,” Schrager told BBC Sport.
“Now I’ve won one medal and I don’t see why I can’t do it again next year.”
Schrager came from behind to defeat Japan’s Keiko Sugiura over 3km to win the gold and rainbow jersey, with his personal best time of 3:58:963.
“I wasn’t in tournaments really waiting for anything, and I was like what I’m going to try and see what happens. Going out and getting a world title was crazy,” she added.
“I’ve had some good results on the road this year, very close to medals, top five finalists, so I was hoping I could take a run in maybe a medal round of some sort and maybe finish in the top five if I’m lucky. But not winning anything. .”
“I came in a real newbie”
As a runner, Schrager, of Malmsbury, Wiltshire, had experience in major tournaments. She finished fifth at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in the T35 100m final but fell out of love with the sport when she was dropping out of school.
At the last minute, she submitted an application for Talent Day with British Cycling and was invited the following week to audition.
After going through five grueling rounds, Schrager was awarded a place on British Cycling’s foundation programme.
While Schrager has been an elite sport for years, she has been into cycling a “real beginner.” In those early months, she practiced her bicycle skills in a supermarket parking lot while her mother held up poles.
“The closure was a blessing because I was in my first year at university, it was on Zoom and I could focus a lot on my cycling skills because no one was on the road, and he tried a lot of different things,” she said.
Schrager suffers from cerebral palsy – a condition that affects movement and coordination – and adapting her organs appropriately was one of the biggest early challenges when she turned to sports.
“All those parts that took me a while to learn. I still have tumultuous days where you fall at traffic lights and you’re like, ‘I’m in the GB set and I fell at these traffic lights,'” Schrager said.
Likewise, she has developed a different mindset towards her body image in the three years since she left athletics and cycling.
“The biggest part I found was 17, 18, being that I have to look a certain way or I have to be of a certain body type,” she added.
“For me, as a young athlete turning into an elite pro mentality, since transitioning to cycling, it doesn’t matter if you have big legs, or small legs, or whatever, as long as you can ride a bike.”
“Everyone should just go.”
Schrager saw immediate results when she started racing. She placed third in her first international road championship, then third at the Para Road World Championships in the C3 road race last September.
This year she added a bronze medal for the European Championships in the time trial and national titles in the C1-3 time trial and C1-3 individual pursuit, before taking the world title on the track.
“I challenge anyone, even if you don’t have a disability or like to be active, just to go because you might find something you didn’t think would be possible three years ago,” Schrager continued.
Experience the time and individual pursuit of Schrager’s favorite events. However, next year, all disciplines of cycling will be combined into one The World Multidisciplinary Championships, which takes place at home in Glasgow In August, instead of separate tournaments with different locations and dates.
The odds gave Schrager “more ammo” for challenging her for a medal in the road race, as well as the track.
“Maybe Chuck in some a, b [category] Racing in Glasgow, to put myself under more technical pressure, so when we go on the road I’m better equipped.”
However, the 2024 Paralympic Games in Paris are the primary focus.
Schrager concluded: “The main goal for me is to make sure I’m on that plane to Paris. That’s been my goal since I was 13 watching London 2012.”
“This year, I gave my all because this is my first proper year on the team and I have no excuse – I can ride my bike every day.
“[I’ve learned] That what you put in is what you get and I would like to continue that forward and that makes me even stronger for the next few years. “
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