We’ve just finished a fantastic set of Track Cycling races that were all broadcast live – but since the Rio 2016 Paralympic Road Races won’t be televised, I thought I’d tell you a bit about some of the women who’ll be racing. Of course I don’t have space for all of them, so if you have fun facts about riders I’ve missed, please do tell me, in the comments, or on twitter, and I’ll edit it in.
I’ve looked at the Tandem riders already, and now it’s the turn of the C1-3 Bike riders. By far the biggest Paralympic category is riders on bicycles, and there are 5 categories, 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.
The women’s C1-3 categories race together for just 1 gold – the Time Trial on Wednesday 14th September, and the Road Race on Friday 16th – the schedule is here, and I hope there’ll be some form of live-timing. I’ve put some information about the races at the bottom of the post – along with how I’ll be following them.
So, who’s racing?
Roxanne Burns, C3, South Africa
Roxy Burns is on her third Paralympics, and she’ll be racing the ITT in Rio, her last Paralympics at 28, and she’s looking to end on a high. As her genetic condition, Ataxia Telangiectasia, is degenerative, she’s recently been reclassified from a C4 to a C3, and came 10th in the 500m and 11th in the Individual Pursuit. She is this positive person, who has said:
“I’m blessed to have AT so mildly. In fact, I’m grateful that I’m disabled. People find it strange when I say that, but I wouldn’t have had so many opportunities or have met so many people from all over the world otherwise.”
Find out more about her in this article,She talks a little bit about some of the issues with the categories in the video below, and how her medical condition effects her cycling, including not being able to train as much. Follow her on twitter at @roxy_burns.