British Cycling has named the Great Britain Cycling Team Paralympic programme squad for 2017 following a membership review.
Twenty-six riders have been named and are split across the podium and podium potential groups.
New riders to the programme include pilot Matt Rotherham, who enjoyed double world title success in the sprint and kilo events at the 2017 UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships alongside stoker James Ball, who also steps up to the podium squad. Jon Gildea joins them following his double world title success in Los Angeles.
Great Britain’s most successful female Paralympian, Dame Sarah Storey, who recently announced that she is expecting her second child, is joined on the podium squad by fellow Paralympic medallists, Megan Giglia, Jody Cundy, Karen Darke, Jon Allan Butterworth, Louis Rolfe, Crystal Lane and David Stone.
In the tandem events stokers Sophie Thornhill, Lora Fachie, Neil Fachie, and Steve Bate all continue as part of the podium programme alongside pilots Helen Scott, Corrine Hall, Craig Maclean, Pete Mitchell and Adam Duggleby.
The podium potential group includes some new faces with Mel Nicholls, a former wheelchair racer and silver medallist at the 2015 IPC World Athletics Championships, making the transition to cycling, while experienced rider Will Bjergfelt joins the squad for the first time. They are joined by David Smith, who continues his recovery from surgery, Simon Price, Craig McCann and Liz Saul.
British Cycling’s performance director, Stephen Park, said:
“We enjoyed a really positive start to the Tokyo 2020 cycle at the 2017 UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships and we believe the riders that we have named in the programme have the ability to continue to deliver medals in the short, medium and long term.
“It’s also exciting to welcome some new faces on to the squad. Matt Rotherham enjoyed an impressive start to his para-cycling career at the track worlds and we are looking forward to welcoming Mel Nicholls from athletics as well as Will Bjergfelt to the podium potential squad.
“Today’s squad announcement and the changes to our pathway structure put the para-cycling squad in a very strong position as we start to look towards Tokyo 2020. With the announcement of the riders on our new foundation squad still to come, it’s an exciting time to be part of the para-cycling programme.
Dame Sarah Storey