I’m pulling together a series looking at some of the women who’ll be racing on the road in the 2016 Rio Paralympics. So far I’ve looked at the Tandem riders and C1-3 bike riders – and now it’s time for the C4-5 riders.
There are separate Individual Time Trials for the C4 and C5 riders, on Wednesday 14th September, and then a combined Road Race on Saturday 17th, with one one gold.
The bike riders are the biggest Paralympic cycling category, and there are 5 levels, with C1 being the riders whose disabilites impact their cycling the most, and C5 the least. There are a mix of visible and invisible disabilities within the same category – and different disabilities impact cycling in different ways – for example, a rider who can’t grip as hard, or pull on the bars, could find the climbing hard than a rider with a prosthetic etc. Bikes may be modified to help riders in different ways, too.
Let’s look at the riders
Most of the Road riders have also ridden Track, but not French woman Alençon. It’s strange, seeing how strong France are in the able-bodied Olympics, that they’re not developing Paracyclists as well, but Alonçon is bucking that treand. It’s her first Games at 28, and although she started cycling aged 5, she started off as a wheelchair racer before moving to racing bikes
She won the ITT and Road Race in the Bilbao round of the 2016 Para-cycling Road World Cup. There’s more about her in this article, and this video
I loved the 2016 Paralympic Track Cycling – so many amazing races, great riders and wonderful moments – so I’ve collected what I’ve found from it, so you can re-live it, or catch up on the racing if you missed it. I’ve focused on the women’s racing, because overwise this would go on for days, but of course, all the sources I’ve linked to include the men, if you want to have a look for more, and the general overviews include their races too.
Unfortunately, a lot of the videos are geo-restricted – some of the Paralympics YouTube clips are only available in countries without their own TV (but it’s hard to tell, so click each one to check – sorry), and the individual TV stations and often videos on news sites are often geo-retricted to their countries. However, you can use VPN services like Hola or Betternet, to see them (if you don’t know about VPNs, INRNG explains them)
Please forgive that fact I’ve got a lot of British-based coverage – it’s because it’s really good, and obviously because I get to see it! I’ve got coverage from other countries when I’ve seen it, but if you’ve seen good coverage from other countries that you want to share, please do let me know, and I’ll edit it in.
First, some general links and media – the Rio 2016 Track Cycling page, including all the schedule, results, and other general information about the velodrome; UCI photo gallery from the Velodrome; the Track Cycling playlist on the Paralympics YouTube
UK-based highlights on the Channel 4 Paralympics site. Seems like there’s lots of highlights on Team USA‘s website, but it’s all forbidden from my UK-based server. There are lots of video highlights of the Australian Paralympics on the 7Two YouTube.
Last week I wrote about some of the Paralympic cyclists I follow, on twitter, their blogs and tumblr – and I asked on twitter if anyone has any recommendations for more. And I’ve got some really great replies! Thankyou! I always love new things to read, and wow, these are some riders who know how to tell their stories. If anyone has any more recommendations for me, please let me know, here, or on twitter
I’m embarrassed to admit I can’t remember who recommended handcyclist Karen Darke’s website to me, but it’s a really great one. Check out this video that tells her story, on her website biography page, and you’ll find out all about her – and don’t stop with the video, that page is full of her words and photos – really inspirational stuff.