Rio 2016 Preview: Cycling

Sport: Cycling

Events: 50 (32 road, 18 track)

Classification: There are four broad classifications in Cycling, with different numeric values, the lower the number, the greater the impairment.

B – Tandem Bicycle – Visually impaired athletes who ride in tandem with a pilot

H1-5 – Handcycle – Amputees or para/tetraplegics, H5 are kneeling, H1-4 are lying

T1-2 – Tricycle – Athletes with neurological conditions who cannot compete on a two wheeled bicycle due to balance issues

C1-5 – Bicycle – Moderate impairment that does not require a tricycle

Venue: Flamengo Park (Road), Rio Olympic Velodrome (Track)

Athlete Quota: 230 (150 male, 80 female) – note pilots are not counted as separate athletes

International Federation: Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI)

Preview

Great Britain dominated the cycling in their home Games four years ago, winning eight gold medals, and finishing with a total of 22 medals. That domination came at the velodrome, with just two of their medals coming on the road, a gold in the women’s C4-5 Road Race to Sarah Storey and a bronze in the mixed T Time Trial to David Stone. Storey will be looking for her 23rd Paralympic Medal after switching to the bike from the pool in Beijing and never looking back.

Peru are looking at Cycling as their great hope for a first Paralympic medal since Athens, and have already made their great hope their flag bearer. Veteran Israel Hilario Rimas comes in as the C2 Road Race World Champion, creating great confidence in Peru.

Despite entering their first Paralympic Games as a pair New Zealand’s Emma Foy, and pilot Laura Thompson have already won three World Championships. Foy and Thompson come in as overwhelming favourites for the 3000m pursuit. This will be Thompson’s second Games as she piloted Philippa Gray and won a full set of medals in London four years ago.

Australia’s Kieran Modra delighted his competition when he retired after London, ending a phenomenal career with five gold medals. But those competitors were quickly left disappointed as Modra has returned and will look to add even more medals to his collection, after switching from the pool in 1996.

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