Cycling has been represented at the Paralympics since 1984 when it was introduced as a road cycling sport, originally only for those with visual impairments. In 1992 different impairment classes were included, while track cycling was added in 1996, and handcycling in 2004. There are now 32 events with 12 classes of cycling, depending on the level of disability of the cyclist.
All Paralympic cycle races are held under the same rules as for Olympic cyclists, although some competitors have their times factored to allow for their level of disability. Once the factoring is taken into account, the fastest cyclist wins.
Paralympic cyclists are able to compete if they ride tandems, handcycles, three wheelers and bicycles, some of which have adaptations to accommodate the rider.
Jody Cundy MBE
Although he started out as a swimmer, Jody was inspired to try cycling after watching the performances of Chris Boardman and Graeme Obree in 1992. Having been born with a deformed foot, after amputation Jody was fitted with an artificial leg. He rides a two wheeler and also received an MBE in 2009 for his services to disability sport.
Sarah Storey OBE
Sarah was originally a very successful swimmer who converted to cycling as a result of two chance incidents; suffering from an ear infection and unable to swim, she met her husband who was a pilot for blind cyclists. Since shifting to cycling, Sarah has been able to compete in both disability and able-bodied events. Sarah has broken over 70 world records.
Jon-Allen was spotted as a potential Paralympian after an injury inflicted while in Afghanistan. Having had his left arm amputated above the elbow in 2007 at the battlefield hospital, Jon-Allen is able to ride a two wheeled bike with minimal adaptations. He was inspired to take up cycling while he was undergoing rehabilitation at Headley Court in Surrey.
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