Handcycling is ridden on bikes were the riders us their hands to pedal. They can be recumbent, or riders can sit in them, depending on the categories, which run from H1-5. As with all Paralympic categories, the lower the number, the more the athlete’s disability affects their sport, so an H1 handcyclist may be a paraplegic, and have limited movement in their torso, while an H5 rider may half, for example, a missing leg, and sit in her handbike.
There are two combined-category Handcycling ITTs on Wednesday 14th September – H4-5 and H1-3, with 1 gold in each, while the road races are H1-4 and H5 on 15th – and the startlists and livetimings should be available via the racing schedule.
None of the Road races will be streamed live, so I’ll tell you a bit about some of the women riders. I haven’t managed to get to all of them, so if I’ve missed any facts, or your favourite riders, please let me know in the comments, or on twitter, and I’ll edit the information in. And after the riders, I’ll tell you a little bit more about the courses.
So who’s racing? I’ll start with the H4 and H5 handcyclists…
Laura de Vaan, H5, Netherlands
It’s her third Paralympics, and she’ll be looking to beat London, where she ended up with two medals – silver in the Road Race and bronze in the ITT. She has to be one of the big riders to beat as the current Time Trial World Champion. And if you want to find out about a handbiker, who better to ask questions than another handbiker? Check out this interview with her by Christiane Reppe: