Cundy ready for competition at Manchester Para-cycling International

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Some of the biggest names in para-cycling will take to the boards at the National Cycling Centre this weekend for the Manchester Para-cycling International.

World champions, Paralympic champions and world record holders will go head to head in one of the biggest events prior to the UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships in Italy and the Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

It's a challenge Jody Cundy is looking forward to.

"It's one of the only points scoring events we have on the track so it's important with the process of qualifying places.

"There are some good riders coming over to score those points, everyone's chasing points. It's important."

For the man who admits he has unfinished business with the Paralympics, booking a place in Rio is the main focus.

Cundy has the chance to join an elite group of athletes who have represented Great Britain at six Paralympic Games next year, having competed in London and Beijing on the bike, and as part of the swimming team at Athens, Sydney and Atlanta. It is clear he wants to be a part of next summer's sporting spectacular.

"It's less than 12 months to go until the Games now. It feels like yesterday being in the London Olympic velodrome and riding around there in front of a capacity crowd.

"Things seem to be on track. The actual performances I'm putting in on the bike and in the lab show I'm in good shape, so fingers crossed we can move that forward to Rio.

"I've got a fairly good record at the Paralympics so it'd be nice to continue that and come away with a win in Rio."

Cundy carries memories of London with him every time he takes to the track, wearing his trademark custom-designed prosthetic leg.

Created for the home Games in 2012, it holds a huge personal significance.

"We basically came up with a design that reflected the kit that was going to be used in London, but there were some added little touches that we put on it that made it a bit unique to me.

"There are lots of names that are on this leg that have helped me in my career, pointed me in the right direction: coaches, nutritionists, physiologists."

Rio

With such an iconic design, Cundy knows he is under pressure to top it for the first South American Paralympic Games. True to form for the man who once rode with a 'Terminator' style chrome leg, he has some ideas up his sleeve.

"We're either going with a pirate theme, basically having a wooden peg-leg, barnacles, seaweed on it, with a treasure map of the medal I missed out on in London.

"(The other idea is) a sheriff's western feel to it, again wooden, but instead of having the gold medals on the back, maybe have sheriff's stars for each of the ones I've won and then a wanted poster for the London medal I missed out on!"

Those grand designs will remain under wraps for now, but while Cundy is dreaming of Rio, for now all focus is on Manchester.

The whole event is free to attend and the world champion hopes it will encourage people to come and see some world-class cycling.

"The amount of Paralympic champions and world championship medallists we've got that are going to be competing on the track in a free event, you can't get any better than that.

"It would be great for people to get into the crowd and support our best Paralympians."

Race schedule

Race schedule

Men's entry list

Women's entry list

Tandem entry list

How to follow the action

Updates across the weekend on Twitter @BritishCycling and on Instagram @britishcycling with post-race reports on the British Cycling website.