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
Stage 4 is the mid-point of the Giro Rosa, the last chance for sprinters before the mountains begin with the Mortirolo stage tomorrow. With the original stage changed because of a landslide, it ran around the gorgeous-looking Lago d’Iseo in Lombardy – and this is the media we got.
As always, I’ll be editing in more video, photos and reports as I see them – please do share anything I’ve missed in the comments, or tell me on twitter. You can find my previous collections of videos from the race under my Giro Rosa 2016 tag.
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.