British Cycling has announced the Great British Cycling Team which will contest the UCI Para-cycling Road World Cup in Ostend, Belgium, this weekend.
The event – which takes place between Thursday and Sunday – is the first international road competition of the season for the majority of the team, and signals the start of their preparation for September’s UCI Para-cycling Road World Championships.
World championship and Paralympic medallist Crystal Lane-Wright will be among those lining up in British colours, and she is expecting tough competition as the world championships and next year’s Paralympics come into sharper focus.
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“This world cup will be exciting as it’s the start of the road racing season for many of the world’s best riders. It’s on a course that we know from previous world cups, so it’s a chance to put down a solid performance and gain some valuable points for Tokyo 2020.
“Personally, I would like to improve on my time in the time trial, and hopefully regain the world cup leader’s jersey, which I held last year. It will be tough, as the standard of para-cycling increases year-on-year as we get closer to the Paralympic Games. We have a strong British team, so I’m looking forward to seeing how everyone performs.”
The squad is bolstered by further experience in the shape of world championship medallists Lora Fachie and Corrine Hall, Ben Watson and Craig Collis-McCann, while that experience is complemented by newer riders to the Paralympic programme, as Fin Graham and Matthew Robertson – both of whom have shown promising signs on both the track and the road in the early stages of their international careers – are both named as part of the squad.
David Stone, Simon Price, Karen Darke and Will Bjergfelt, who won his first ever world-level medal at March’s track world championships, complete the team.
World champion tandem duo Steve Bate and Adam Duggleby withdrew from the squad due to injury.
Full Great Britain Cycling Team for the UCI Para-cycling Road World Cup in Ostend, Belgium:
Simon Price (MC2)
Matthew Robertson (MC2)
Finlay Graham (MC3)
Ben Watson (MC3)
Will Bjergfelt (MC5)
Craig Collis-McCann (MT2)
David Stone (MT2)
Lora Fachie piloted by Corrine Hall (WB)
Crystal Lane-Wright (WC5)
Karen Darke (WH3)