Southend Wheelers Host National Para-Cycling Championships
Time Trial in Canewdon & Road Race at Redbridge Cycle Centre

South Essex cycling club, Southend Wheelers, is proudly hosting the annual British Cycling National Para-Cycling Championships this weekend (9/10 June 2018), with events to be held in the picturesque village of Canewdon, near Rochford and the Redbridge Cycling Centre, at Ilford.

The country’s top para-cyclists will gather at both venues, in a bid to win the famous white jersey, which bears the patriotic red, white and blue bands across the chest, denoting the national champion.

The weekend gets underway on Saturday (9 June), with the time trial championship taking place at Canewdon. The competitors will take on a six-mile course around the countryside lanes and passing through the village centre. The race HQ will be located at the nearby King Edmund’s School, Rochford.
There are several different championships, with competitors riding a varied number of laps on standard bicycles, adapted bicycles, hand-cycles and tandems,” explains Southend Wheelers’ Club Chairman, Terry Butcher.

The first of nearly fifty entrants will leave the Brays Lane school-entrance start-line at 11:01am and then head towards Canewdon, go through the village and loop back towards the school. It would be super to see members of the public supporting the competitors and cheering them on, so please do come and experience this incredible event.”

On Sunday (10 June) it’s the turn of the road race specialists to show their credentials. Starting at 12:30pm, around fifty of the UK’s best para-cyclists will contest a number of different races on a variety of machines throughout the afternoon.

Terry adds: “They also fully deserve your support. ‘Hog Hill’ as the centre is colloquially known, is a great venue and is only 45-minutes up the A127/A12 from Southend, so if you can possibly spare the time please pop along and give these courageous athletes a hearty cheer.”

Para-cycling was first developed by cyclists with visual impairments who competed on tandem bicycles. Since then the sport has continuously grown and, after its introduction into the Paralympic Games in New York in 1984 with road events for athletes with cerebral palsy, an increasing number of events have been added in subsequent Paralympic Games.

Para-cycling currently includes individuals with cerebral palsy, visual impairments and physical impairments. Road cyclists compete on handcycles, trikes, tandem bikes or bikes depending on their condition.
Great Britain currently has two of the greatest Paralympians of all time in the form of Dame Sarah Storey and Jody Cundy. Storey is the country’s greatest female Paralympian of all time with 14 gold medals, while Cundy is the proud owner of five gold medals.

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There are a number of categories in Para-cycling, these include:
• C1-C5 is for athletes with cerebral palsy, amputees and other conditions who can ride a bike.
• T1-T2 (trike) is for athletes with cerebral palsy, neurological conditions or other athletes who are unable to ride a bike.
• B is for visually impaired cyclists who compete on tandem bikes with a pilot.
• H1-H5 (handcycle) is for riders with impairments affecting either both legs or a combination of the upper and lower limbs (amputees, paraplegics and tetraplegics)
While many para-cyclists would ride a bike similar to those ridden by a rider on an able-bodied squad, with some minor adaptions, some may ride a trike or a handbike, depending on their impairment.



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