Introduction to Para Cycling
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.
Para cycling was first developed by cyclists with visual impairments who competed on tandem bicycles. Since then the sport has continued to grow and was first introduced to a Paralympic Games in New York in 1984 with road events for athletes with cerebral palsy included for the first time. Further events were added over the course of the next four Paralympic Games, with track cycling making its debut in Atlanta 1996.
Fast forward to Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games and GBCT collected a total of 24 medals in para cycling events. At the 2022 Commonwealth Games, British visually impaired para cyclists brought home 7 medals.
Para cycling currently includes individuals with cerebral palsy, visual impairments and physical impairments. Road cyclists compete on handcycles, trikes, tandem bikes or bikes depending on their condition. On the track, cyclists compete on either tandem bikes or bikes.
- C1-C5 is for athletes with cerebral palsy, amputees and other conditions who can ride a bike.
- T1-T2 (trike) is for athletes with cerebral palsy, neurological conditions or other athletes who are unable to ride a bike.
- B is for visually impaired cyclists who compete on tandem bikes with a pilot.
- H1-H5 (handcycle) is for riders with impairments affecting either both legs or a combination of the upper and lower limbs (amputees, paraplegics and tetraplegics)
Para Performance Pathway
To be eligible to compete in para cycling a rider must have an eligible impairment and meet the minimum impairment criteria as set out by the World Para Cycling Classification Rules and Regulations.
Currently athletes with physical impairments and visual impairments are eligible for the para cycling pathway.