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Guide: Great Britain Para-cycling Team at the 2015 UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships

Guide: Great Britain Para-cycling Team at the 2015 UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships

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Multiple Paralympic and para-cycling world champions are joined by worlds debutants for the 2015 UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships in Apeldoorn, Netherlands from 26-29 March, the next stop on the way to qualification for the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio.

Eleven-time Paralympic gold medallist Dame Sarah Storey heads up a team that also includes Paralympic champions Neil Fachie and Jody Cundy, two-time world champion Sophie Thornhill along with first timers Megan Giglia, Steve Bate, Louis Rolfe and Jaco van Gass.

Great Britain topped the medal table at the 2014 world championships in Aguascalientes, Mexico, winning 10 medals, seven gold, one silver and two bronze.

The team

Women

Megan Giglia makes her world championships debut in the C3 class just over two years after a life-changing brain haemorrhage left her with right-side paralysis.

Former-fitness coach Giglia, who hails from Stratford upon Avon, joined the Paralympic Development Programme in May 2014 after a six-month talent identification phase.

In her first international track event in Newport, Giglia hit the podium at her first attempt, taking silver in the C3 pursuit.

Chelmsford-born Crystal Lane will hope to improve on performance that saw her just miss the medals in Aguascalientes last year.

The 29-year old rider has an under-developed left arm and hand and competes in the C5 class having been inspired by fellow C5 athlete Dame Sarah Storey’s performance at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Lane finished fourth in the 500 metre time trial back in 2014, one place behind her hero Storey and hopes to vie for the medals in the Netherlands.

Lora Turnham will contest the 2015 world championships with new pilot Lauryn Therin. Born with a hereditary sight loss condition, the 26-year old from Liverpool has been working with Therin throughout the latter half of 2014.

Therin herself switched from sprint to endurance and replaced Turnham’s regular partner Corrine Hall, with whom Turnham won the 2014 world road race title in Spain.

Sophie Thornhill will attempt to defend two world titles in Apeldoorn, having triumphed in the B/VI tandem kilometre time trial and sprint in her debut world championships last year.

The 19-year-old from Cheshire paired with Rachel James to record her remarkable 2014 results but 2015 will see Thornhill reprise her collaboration with Helen Scott, with whom she took kilo and sprint gold on the tandem at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

Dame Sarah Storey needs no introduction, the 11-time Paralympic gold medallist aiming to add to her nine world championship titles on the track. 37-year old Storey will hope that the new stimulus of the hour record will help her defend the C5 pursuit and scratch race titles she won in Mexico last year.

Storey is unbeaten in the pursuit ever since the first IPC/UCI para-cycling track world championships in Aigle in 2006 and will also compete in the 500-metre time trial after taking bronze in 2014.

Men

Hailing from Moray in Scotland, 37-year-old Steve Bate makes his worlds debut riding in the B/VI tandem category, piloted by 30-year-old former British scratch champion Adam Duggleby.

While Bate may be a worlds debutant, he is no stranger to personal challenge. Prior to joining the Paralympic Development Programme in 2013, Bate was the first visually impaired person to solo climb the intimidating El Capitan ascent in Yosemite National Park in California.

Bate and Duggleby are an established combination which has seen success already on both road and track. The pair became British road race and time trial champions in 2013 and last saw action in January’s Newport Para-cycling International, placing eighth in the kilo and fifth in the pursuit.

Jody Cundy approaches the 2015 world championships as the defending champion in the C4 kilometre time trial, setting a new world record of 1:01.466 on his way to gold at the 2014 event in Mexico.

Despite a serious setback due to illness through the winter, Cambridgeshire-born Cundy took victory in the C4 kilometre in Newport; four seconds faster than nearest rival Jozef Metelka of Slovakia and is confident in challenging once more for gold in Apeldoorn.

Two-time Paralympic champion Neil Fachie will repeat the partnership with Peter Mitchell that saw two world titles and two world records last year in Mexico.

The 31-year-old from Aberdeen has the degenerative eye condition retinitis pigmentosa and rides in the B/VI tandem class.

Pilot Pete Mitchell moved from British Cycling’s non-disabled sprint squad to the para-cycling squad in 2012, the 25-year-old from London teaming up with Fachie to set an astonishing 59.460 seconds for the kilometre at the high altitude venue in Aguascalientes, the first tandem duo ever to break the minute mark in competition.

Fachie and Mitchell also defend the sprint world title, won in similarly dominant fashion as the kilometre event; the Great Britain pair clocking 9.711 seconds in qualifying and eventually beating fellow finalists Australia 2-0.

Like Sophie Thornhill last year, Louis Rolfe will make his worlds debut in Holland as the youngest member of the squad.

The 17-year-old from Cambridgeshire has cerebral palsy and rides in the C2 class. Rolfe made a big impact at Newport, winning silver in the team sprint and bronze in the pursuit, breaking the British C2 record in the process with a time of 4:01.535.

Former Parachute Regiment solider Jaco van Gass makes his world championships debut in the C4 category after progressing from the Paralympic Development Programme to join the academy squad in late 2014.

Van Gass lost his left arm at the elbow along with multiple injuries due to a rocket attack while on his second tour of duty in Afghanistan in 2009.

At Newport, the 28-year-old took part in the kilometre time trial, pursuit, team sprint and scratch races, winning silver in C4 pursuit final against Josef Metelka of Slovakia.

The venue

Apeldoorn is situated in Gelderland in the centre of the Netherlands. With a population of 157,679, the town lies close to the country seat of the Dutch royal family, Het Loo.

Situated on the eastern edge of the town, Omnisport Apeldoorn is multi-sport venue housing a 250-metre velodrome, volleyball arena and indoor athletics track.

The velodrome has a seating capacity of 5000 and played host to the 2011 UCI Track Cycling World Championships.

Event schedule (timings CET – UK time + 1 hour)

Thursday 26 March - 9:00am to 7:40pm
500 metre time trials and one-kilometre time trials for men’s and women’s C1-C5 and B athletes.

Friday 27 March - 9:00am to 4:40pm
Three-kilometre pursuits for men’s and women’s C1-C3 athletes.

Saturday 28 March – 9:30am to 5:45pm
Individual pursuit for men’s and women’s C4, C5 and B athletes.

Sunday 29 March – 8:30am to 5:45pm
Men’s and women’s B sprint, mixed C1-5 team sprint, men’s and women’s C1-C5 scratch races.

Detailed schedule

Coverage

Live reporting, results, images and reaction will appear on the British Cycling website.

Sunday's final sessions will the streamed live on the UCI YouTube channel.

You can also follow live updates on Twitter via @BritishCycling.