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Cyclist Molnar adds to Canada's bronze haul

CTVOlympics.ca

9/5/2012 10:47:17 AM

Marie-Claude Molnar gave Canada a strong start on Day 7 of the London 2012 Paralympic Games, winning a bronze medal in the women's road cycling C4 time trial.

The Quebec native finished with a time of 26:48.52, behind American Megan Fisher and Susan Powell of Australia.

It is Molnar's first Paralympic medal, though she narrowly missed the podium in the women's individual pursuit -- in which she finished fourth -- on Day 2. 

Molnar could add to her hardware before the Games conclude. She races again Thursday in the women's individual C 4-5 road race. The C1-C5 classes consist of athletes with an impairment that affects their legs, arms and/or trunk, but who use standard bicycles.

Her daring competitive style makes Molnar one to watch on the road -- her best friend as a child nicknamed her "Indy" because of the "little stunts" she was always trying, she said. 

A former hockey player, Molnar took up cycling after she was hit by a car in 2005, leaving her with a brain injury. Though she knew her injury would not keep her from sports, Molnar said she had no idea how difficult cycling would be.

"Cycling is a complex sport compared to what people may think; it involves a lot of strategy, tactics, handling skills and specific knowledge," Molnar told the Canadian Paralympic Committee.

She began competing in 2009 and won a bronze medal ahead of the Games at the 2011 Guadalajara Parapan American Games in the women's individual pursuit. 

Molnar wasn't satisfied with just keeping pace, though. After finishing the individual pursuit with a personal best time (but without a medal), she beat her record the following day.

"New PB this afternoon at the 500!" Molnar tweeted on Sept. 1.

She promised to "fight for a medal" at her next race, and now Canada's newest medallist has delivered.