Worlds selection means Mark Colbourne
continues his rise on the world stage
Mark Colbourne, from Tredegar, continues his rise on the world stage by being selected for the UCI Para-Cycling World Championships. On the back of winning Silver at the UCI Para cycling World Cup in Baie-Comeau, Canada and Bronze at the event in Spain.
Paralympic champions Darren Kenny, Rachel Morris (Pembroke), David Stone and Sarah Storey have all been included in the British team for next month's UCI Para-Cycling Road World Championships.
The competition in Denmark from 8-11 September is the last major road event before the 2012 Paralympics.
Also included are World Championship debutants Mark Colbourne, Simon Price and Crystal Lane.
As a recent member of the highly acclaimed Disability Sport Wales Academy cyclist Mark has had an incredible journey since he broke his back in a paragliding accident at Rhossili on the Gower in May 2009, which resulted with him being air lifted by the Welsh air ambulance and spend three months at Rookwood Hospital, Cardiff. The severity of the injuries didn't put off Mark's enthusiasm for sport and through a meeting FDSW Performance Manager Anthony Hughes during his stay at the hospital his first port of call upon leaving Rookwood in September 2009 was to the Wales National Velodrome in Newport and an introduction to FDSW Paracyling Coach Neil Smith.
They quickly set to work on their first goal of teaching Mark to ride a bike again, something Neil and his team are well versed at doing over the years and after a couple of weeks on stabiliser's, yes I did say "stabiliser's", Mark was up and riding solo once again. The work didn't stop there and with hundreds of hours of training and only seven months after meeting Neil for the first time, Mark found himself on the start line at the Paracycling Grand Prix of Wales International, where he not only won his events, but also broke the respective British records in doing so.
With the prospect of Welsh winter training ahead of him, Mark took the opportunity to spend the 2010/11 winter in Crete, where he continued to keep in contact with Neil his coach back in Wales via text, email and even sending back video clips for analysis. The hard work and emails continued until Mark's return in May and a targeted round of the British Cycling Disability Time Trial Series in Doncaster. The results from this event where enough to catch the eye of the Great Britain Paracycling Team and the hard work of the winter paid off when Mark was invited to ride for Team GB less than two years from learning to ride a bike again !
Strong performances could see them make their Paralympic debut in London.
As well as the experience of the quartet of Paralympic champions, the 13-strong team also features Shaun McKeown and Karen Darke, who have shown strong form in the World Cup races over the summer.
Team Manager Gareth Sheppard said: "These World Championships are the final opportunity to measure our performance against that of the international field."
"We have selected a squad that is capable of bringing home many medals and scoring as many qualification points as possible. We have also given a number of up-and-coming athletes vying for a spot on the London 2012 road team an opportunity to prove themselves at the highest level."
Most of the GB riders will compete in both the time trial and the road race in Denmark.
GB team: Mark Colbourne, Jody Cundy, Karen Darke, Darren Kenny, Crystal Lane, Shaun McKeown, Rachel Morris, Simon Price, David Stone, Sarah Storey, Lora Turnham (pilot Louise Haston), Rik Waddon