ParalympicsGB has today announced the riders who will compete in the Para cycling events at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.
Fourteen riders from the Great Britain Cycling Team’s Para cycling squad plus six pilot riders have been selected to compete, of whom seven will be making their Paralympic debut. The sport had an outstanding Rio 2016 Paralympic Games winning a total of 21 medals with many of the stars of those games set to return.
In the women’s events, Dame Sarah Storey will travel to Tokyo to compete in her eighth Paralympic Games and will be looking to defend her titles in the C5 Individual Pursuit, C5 Time Trial and C4-5 Road Race events. Crystal Lane-Wright will also represent ParalympicsGB in the same events.
Dame Sarah Storey said: “It’s a huge honour to receive selection for my eighth Paralympic Games! If I could go back and tell 14-year-old Sarah she’d get to do eight Paralympic Games I don’t know whether I would have believed it! Competing for my country is all I have ever wanted to do since being six years old and watching the 1984 Games in Los Angeles. Back then I had no idea the Paralympics existed, so I’m hugely proud to have contributed to such a significant era in Paralympic sport and am incredibly excited to attempt to defend the three gold medals I won in Rio.”
In the women’s B events, Lora Fachie and pilot Corrine Hall will contest their third Paralympic Games together, while Sophie Unwin and pilot Jenny Holl will make their Paralympic debut. Both pairings will take to the start line in the Individual Pursuit and Kilo on the track, before turning their attention to the road where they will compete in the Time Trial and Road Race.
Also competing in the women’s B events but focussing purely on the track will be the reigning Paralympic Kilo Champion Helen Scott who will reignite her partnership with Aileen McGlynn with whom she won the silver medal in London 2012. McGlynn and Scott will compete in the Individual Pursuit as well as the Kilo.
Defending Paralympic champion Kadeena Cox completes selection on the women’s side and will compete in the C4-5 500m Time Trial as well as the C1-5 Mixed Team Sprint.
Joining Cox in the Mixed Team Sprint will be Jaco van Gass who makes his Paralympic debut in no less than five events in Tokyo. Van Gass will also compete in the C1-3 Kilo, C3 Individual Pursuit, C3 Time Trial and C1-3 Road Race. Jody Cundy makes up the mixed team sprint squad and will also seek to defend his C4-5 Kilo title in what will be the seventh Paralympic Games for the C4 rider.
Jaco van Gass said: “I’m so happy to be selected for my first Paralympic Games, it’s been a huge target for me for a long time and something I’ve been working hard for. The past 15 months has been difficult for everyone, but I’ve been able to keep my focus throughout and everything is going well in training. I’m aiming to compete in five events which is certainly a challenge, but I know I have a great support team around me and I’m really looking forward to competing in Tokyo.”
Jody Cundy makes up the mixed team sprint squad and will also seek to defend his C4-5 Kilo title in what will be the seventh Paralympic Games for the C4 rider.
In the men’s B events, reigning Paralympic champions Steve Bate and pilot Adam Duggleby will be in action in the Individual Pursuit and Time Trial, as well as looking to better their bronze medal from Rio in the Road Race. On the sprint side, Neil Fachie and pilot Matt Rotherham plus James Ball and pilot Lewis Stewart will be competing for victory in the Kilo, with the two pilot riders both making their Paralympic debuts, while also competing in the Individual Pursuit on the basis that all Para cyclists must contest two events.
Fin Graham and Ben Watson will both represent ParalympicsGB for the first time in the men’s C3 category, along with Jaco van Gass, with Graham competing in the C3 Individual Pursuit, C3 Time Trial and C1-3 Road Race while Watson will focus on the two road events.
Completing the line-up is George Peasgood who will target the C4 Time Trial and C4-5 Road Race events, having also been selected to represent ParalympicsGB in Para triathlon.
Speaking of selection, British Cycling’s Performance Director Stephen Park said: “This is a really exciting team, and I am confident we will have another successful Paralympic Games with the riders we have selected. British Cycling has an established record of supporting riders to achieve their best at the Paralympic Games and I look forward to seeing this team live up to that tradition and the pride in the jersey that comes with it.”
“Dame Sarah Storey stands to make history once again as she looks to add more medals to her tally of fourteen gold medals and, if she is victorious in all three of her events, she will surpass Para swimmer Mike Kenny as Britain’s most successful Paralympian.
“On the other end of the scale, we have Sophie Unwin and Jenny Holl making not only their debut at a Paralympic Games, but Tokyo will also mark their first ever track competition on a tandem bike.
“In between those extremes of experience, we have plenty of medal prospects in every event we are targeting, as we aim to top Para cycling’s medal table once again for this Paralympic cycle.”
Penny Briscoe, ParalympicsGB Chef de Mission at Tokyo 2020, said: “It’s an honour to invite athletes of such talent and experience to ParalympicsGB. Cycling has been one of our highest achieving sports at recent Games and in Dame Sarah Storey have an athlete who has already achieved so many incredible milestones in her career with potentially more to come at Tokyo 2020.
“She is part of a Track and Road team that has demonstrated incredible resilience and determination since the games were postponed last year and I cannot wait to see them compete in the velodrome and on the road circuit. I would also like to thank the support staff who have worked so tirelessly to support their athletes in the final preparations for what promises to be an historic Games.”
Around 230 athletes from 19 sports are expected to make up the British team that will compete in Japan, with further names to be announced in the coming days.
ParalympicsGB captured the imagination of the British public at London 2012 winning 120 medals in front of sell-out crowds with countless memorable performances.
The team eclipsed that performance at Rio 2016 winning an outstanding 147 medals including 64 golds to finish second in the overall medal table. The rescheduled Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games will be staged from 24th August to 5th September.
Lora Fachie piloted by Corrine Hall
Aileen McGlynn piloted by Helen Scott
Sophie Unwin piloted by Jenny Holl
Dame Sarah Storey
James Ball piloted by Lewis Stewart
Steve Bate piloted by Adam Duggleby
Neil Fachie piloted by Matt Rotherham
Jaco van Gass