Sarah Storey celebrates in Rio
Cycling

Cycling

Introduction

Paralympic cyclists compete under exactly the same rules and conditions as their counterparts at the Olympic Games.

Road cyclists compete on handcycles, tricycles, tandem bicycles or bicycles according to their functionality. On the track, cyclists ride either tandem bicycles or bicycles.

Sport Details

Events

1km time-trial (known as the kilo) begins with a standing start and athletes compete against the clock to complete the 1km distance in the fastest time.

Team sprint: Contested over three laps of the track by two teams of three riders. Teams start at opposite sides of the track and each rider must lead for one lap. The front rider pulls out of the way at the end of each lap leaving the next rider to take over at the front. The third and final front rider sets the team time when they cross the finishing line at the end of the third lap.

3km and 4km individual pursuit (two events): Competitors start on opposite sides of the track and attempt to catch their opponent. The four athletes with the best times in the opening round progress to the next round progress to the medal rides, where the two fastest qualifiers race for gold and silver and third races fourth compete for the bronze medal. If a competitor catches and passes the opponent, they win the race – although they may choose to continue, usually if they are attempting to break a record or set a new personal best.

500m time-trial: Contested over two laps of the track, a rider begins with a standing start and riders compete against the clock to complete the distance in the fastest time.

Road race: Races have a bunched start and the first rider to cross the finishing line wins.

Road time-trial: Competitors start at 60-second intervals and the rider completing the distance the fastest is declared the winner.

Paralympic cyclists compete under the exact same rules and conditions as their counterparts at the Olympic Games. Currently the sport includes individuals with cerebral palsy, amputations, visual and any other physical impairment.

Road cyclists compete on handcycles, tricycles, tandem bicycles or bicycles according to their functionality. On the track, cyclists ride either tandem bicycles or bicycles.

Classification categories are currently defined in the following manner:

C1-C5 for athletes with cerebral palsy, amputees and others who can ride a bicycle.

T1-T2 (tricycle) for athletes with cerebral palsy, neurological conditions or other athletes who are unable to ride a bicycle.

B for visually impaired cyclists who are classified together and compete on tandem bicycles with a sighted guide or pilot rider.

H1-H5 (handcycle) for riders with impairments affecting either both legs or a combination of the upper and lower limbs (amputees, paraplegics and tetraplegics). H1-4 all compete in a lying position whereas H5 compete in a kneeling position.

Some cycling events will be factored at the Paralympics. This means that cyclists from different classes compete against each other and means that the results take into account the severity of the impairments of each competitor. As a result, some riders within an event will have their times ‘factored’ while other riders will not. The gold medal goes to the athlete with the fastest time after all the required times have been factored.

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