Whether it’s on the track or the road, two wheels or three, para-cycling offers something for everyone who wants to get on a bike! This discipline is divided into road (3 events) and track (4 events) for a total of seven events:
- Road race (men & women)
- Individual time trial (men & women)
- Tandem sprint (men)
- Team sprint (men & women, mixed event)
- Time trial (men & women) – distance according to classification
- Individual pursuit (men & women)
The purpose of classification is to minimise the impact of impairment on the outcome of competition, so that an athlete’s success in competition relies on training, physical fitness and personal athletic talent. In order to be eligible for classification, a cyclist must have a medically diagnosed health condition that causes a permanent impairment that can be measured objectively. Para-cycling includes individuals with cerebral palsy, amputation, loss of sight, spinal cord injury and paralysis. Road cyclists compete on handcycles, tricycles, tandem bikes or bikes depending on their condition. On the track, cyclists compete on either tandem bikes or bikes.
- C1-C5: Cycling events are for those cyclists who can ride a standard bicycle. They are classified as a C1, C2, C3, C4, C5 with C1 being the most severely impaired. C1 riders can be individuals with a high level of neurological impairment or multiple amputations whereas C5 riders have a neurological impairment with minimum effect or a single arm amputation.
- T1-T2 (Tricycle): Tricycle events are for those cyclists with cerebral palsy, a neurological condition, les autres or an impairment which has a comparable effect on their ability to ride a standard bicycle. They are classified as T1 or T2 with T1 the more severely impaired.
- B: Cyclists with a visual impairment who are all classified together compete on tandem bicycles with a sighted guide or pilot rider. The level of visual impairment is variable between no light perception in either eye through to a visual acuity of 6/60 and/or a visual field of less than 20 degrees.
- H1-H5 (Handcycling): Handcycle events are for those cyclists who have paraplegia, tetraplegia or amputees unable to ride a standard bicycle. They are classified as H1, H2, H3, H4, H5 with H1 being the most severely impaired. H1, H2, H3, H4 cyclists will all compete in a lying position, whereas H5 cyclists compete in a kneeling position.
A para-cycling rider can compete in a number of different events across the road and track. While many would ride a bike similar to those ridden by a rider on an able-bodied squad, with some minor adaption, some may ride a tricycle or a handcycle depending on their impairment.