Great Britain’s Neil Fachie and his sighted pilot Barney Storey set a new world record to win gold in the 1km Time Trial after their team-mates, favourites Anthony Kappes and Craig Maclean were denied the chance to ride.
Jon-Allan Butterworth guaranteed his second medal of the Games – at least a silver – on Saturday afternoon by taking two seconds off the old world record in the C5 4km Pursuit qualifying and Jody Cundy will race for a consolation C4 Pursuit bronze after he missed out on a medal on Friday.
Fachie and Storey’s time of one minute 1.351 seconds was the fastest time ever riden on a tandem – Paralympic or able-bodied – beating the mark set by Kappes and Jason Queally three years ago.
“We knew what we could do and we knew that it was going to be world record pace. We are expected to be the best bikers in the world,” said Aberdonian Fachie, 26, a former athlete who switched to cycling having failed to make the 100m or 200m finals in Beijing.
“I was absolutely devastated to see my team-mates false starting. I’d have given anything to have them on the podium with us. I really wanted to beat them in a fair race.”
Storey, who piloted Kappes to two golds in Beijing, said: “We’re absolutely gutted to not race against them. They’re our friends and it’s not a nice thing to happen.”
Kappes and Maclean were judged to have committed two false starts and rules prevent them starting for a third time.
The duo stopped after hearing a worrying noise from the pedal or chain the first time. Even though the problem re-occurred, they were prepared to carry on but the starter had already fired his gun for a false start.
Sighted pilot Maclean, an Olympic silver medallist alongside fellow Scot Sir Chris Hoy in the Team Sprint in Sydney 12 years ago, said: “It was a mechanical failure ultimately. The bike let us down.
“In the heat of competition we were probably trying harder than we’ve ever done before and the bike was just not up to the job.
“There was disbelief. We tried to argue with the start judge that we wanted to carry on but he had fired the gun. He possibly could have bent the rules.”
Maclean and Kappes, 39, from Stockport, have a chance on Sunday to defend the Sprint title, with Fachie and Storey again their main rivals.
Kappes was sanguine afterwards but said: “Tomorrow morning we’re still going to be annoyed.
“Barney and Neil are a good pairing. I think we would have gone better than them but we didn’t.
“We’ve spoken to both of them and they don’t feel as happy as they should. Congratulations to both of them; they’re gold medallists.”
The scenes came a day after C4-5 1km Time Trial favourite Cundy missed his chance to ride for gold because of a false start, judged to be rider error rather than an equipment failure.
Cundy will go for a bronze medal in the 4km Pursuit later on Saturday after qualifying third-fastest during the morning session in a time of 4:42.005.
Butterworth, the former RAF serviceman who lost his arm in a rocket attack in Iraq and is going for five medals at these Games and started well on Friday with silver in that Time Trial.
He is reigning 1km world champion but chose to focus on the 4km Pursuit this year because he had expected to be beaten by Cundy over the shorter distance. That decision paid off when he set a time of 4:35.026 in C5 qualifying.
Australia’s Michael Gallagher snatched his record back minutes later, bettering Butterworth’s mark by a resounding five seconds, and the two men will race off for gold at 15:48 on Saturday.
Storey’s wife Sarah races for her second gold of the Games – which would be the ninth of her dual-sport career – in the C4-5 500m Time Trial this afternoon.
Get more Paralympics news from www.paralympics.org.uk/gb.