Cycling wasn't introduced into the Paralympic program until the 1984 New York/Mandeville Games. The competition took place in Mandeville, England, among athletes with cerebral palsy. The expanded Paralympic program, which includes the modern-day classifications, didn't appear until the Barcelona Games in 1992. At the 2004 Paralympic Games in Athens, handcycling (for wheelchair users) made its debut as a medal event.
Athletes compete on the track (velodrome) and on the roads. Track events consist of sprints as short as 200 meters to time trials and pursuits up to 4 km for the 5 classes of bicycles and tandem. Team sprint races consisting of three-person teams are also contested on the track as well as men’s and women’s massed start events.
Competition on the road consists of individual time trials and massed start road races. In time trials, athletes start individually in staggered intervals, racing mostly against themselves and the clock. Road races consist of mass starts. Distances vary based on the host country's discretion and athlete classification. Distances range from 20 km to 80 km in length.
Paralympic cycling competition is open to male and female athletes with physical disabilities such as amputation/limb loss, blindness/visual impairment, spinal cord injury/wheelchair-users and cerebral palsy/brain injury/stroke. U.S. Paralympics offers annual National Championship events for both road and track disciplines across all classes of disabilities. These events are usually held in conjunction with USA Cycling’s National Championship events.
Athletes are encouraged to compete in USA Cycling sanctioned events. A list of events in your region can be found at http://www.usacycling.org/events/ and http://www.ushf.org/
For more information on Para-cycling please watch the UCI Introduction to Para-cycling video found here.
For more information on cycling classification click here.
UCI Para-cycling World Rankings & can be found here.
E-mail your questions about cycling to Kallie Quinn, National Team Manager at Kallece.email@example.com
Find a local program in your community - visit the Paralympic Resource Network.
For more information on cycling, please visit:
The International Blind Sports Federation's (IBSA) cycling page