World Champion Mark Colbourne is amongst an 18-strong Para-Cycling team announced by the British Paralympic Association (BPA) as competing at London 2012.
The team who will feature Paralympic multi gold medallists Sarah Storey, Darren Kenny and Aileen McGlynn and Beijing gold medallists David Stone and Rachel Morris is bolstered by new talent including 2012 World Championships gold medallist Mark Colbourne and 2011 World Road and 2012 World Track Championships bronze medallist Shaun McKeown.
Mark Colbourne, from Tredegar, Blaenau Gwent, spoke of his selection: “I feel hugely honoured and proud to be selected for my first Paralympic Games. It has been an incredible journey for me, from the hospital bed to now making the team, and I have a lot of people to thank for their support. Being selected feels amazing but I can’t wait to compete in front of a home crowd in London.”
The selection takes the number of selected athletes to 220 plus two sighted goalkeepers and four pilot riders – marginally more than the 213-strong ParalympicsGB team that competed in Beijing, with four sports (Rowing, Goalball – men, Equestrian and Athletics) still to be announced.
The Para-Cycling team brought home 20 medals from Beijing to finish top of their sport’s medal table, and the sport has brought home multiple international medals from road and track since 2008, so Paralympic selectors are confident that the team will perform once again when they take to the boards at the Olympic Park is just over 60 days’ time.
Gareth Sheppard, Performance Manager for the British Para-Cycling team, congratulated his cyclists, saying: “We're taking our largest ever team to the London Games and are looking forward to defending the many titles won in Beijing. It'll be tough trying to equal 17 gold medals and our athletes realise the expectation on their shoulders. Having the whole of the country behind them will really help us and we are confident of delivering some world class performances.”