Britain’s triumphant Paralympic cycling team, who brought home a phenomenal medal haul of 17 gold and three silver medals from Beijing, will be well represented in Manchester with the announcement today that nine of the team will compete at the 2009 BT Paralympic World Cup.
Manchester-based cyclists Sarah Storey and Jody Cundy will also be hoping to continue the impressive form they showed in Beijing.
Storey, who married fellow cycling gold medallist Barney Storey in 2008, was a Paralympic swimming champion with an international career spanning 13 years before she made the switch to cycling and emerged with two gold medals in Beijing in the individual pursuit and road time trial.
Sarah will compete in the 500m time trial and individual pursuit events in May, whilst husband Barney will pilot Anthony Kappes in the men’s tandem sprint events:
“We continue to push the boundaries of performance and as a result the BT Paralympic World Cup is so important to us. It gives us a great focus at the start of the season and it’s so important to challenge ourselves against the best in the run-up to the World Championships. Plus it’s on our doorstep so it’s always a really special event,” Sarah said.
Jody Cundy is another successful swimmer-turned-cyclist, winning the kilo and team sprint titles in Beijing. Jody will compete in the LC1/LC2 1km time trial event with fellow double Paralympic champion Mark Bristow.
The Norfolk-born cyclist has great aspirations for the BT Paralympic World Cup: “Training has been going really well so I’m hoping I can start 2009 with another record. It’s what drives me on the track. It’s such an adrenaline rush when you’re moving at 50mph, something you don’t really experience when swimming and to set a world record would just be the icing on the cake,” said Jody.
Jody and Mark will team up with Darren Kenny and Rik Waddon as they look to defend their team sprint title.
Another double gold medallist competing in Manchester is Glasgow’s Aileen McGlynn, who won the tandem 1km time trial and women’s pursuit.
Aileen, who will compete in Manchester with a new tandem pilot, said: “I am looking forward to competing at the BT Paralympic World Cup in May; the first major competition since the Beijing Paralympics. I will be taking to the boards with a new tandem pilot, Vicky Begg from Glasgow, and we are hoping to do our best in our first international outing together.”
ParalympicsGB Chief Executive Phil Lane said: “We are delighted that so many of the Beijing Paralympic cycling champions are returning to Manchester for the BT Paralympic World Cup again this year.
“Britain has a strong history in the sport and the Paralympic cyclists are very much as inspirational and successful as their Olympic counterparts and we look forward to seeing what further achievements the cyclists can make as they start on the road to a home Paralympics in 2012.”
The BT Paralympic World Cup is the first major multi-sport elite disability event to be staged since the Beijing Paralympic Games and major international stars and a strong British contingent are expected.
The competition will be staged in Manchester from 20-25 May, with over 400 competitors from over 31 countries scheduled to compete.
Athletes will compete in four sports at world class competition venues in Manchester: wheelchair basketball will be hosted at the Manchester Regional Arena on 20-23 May, with the venue also holding the athletics competition on Sunday 24 May.
The Manchester Velodrome plays home to the track cycling competition on 20-22 May, whilst the Manchester Aquatics Centre will again host the swimming competition on Monday 25 May.
Tickets for the BT Paralympic World Cup are now on sale and can be purchased via the event website: www.btparalympicworldcup.com or the ParalympicsGB website: www.paralympics.org.uk or by calling 0844 8471622. Tickets cost £3 per session.
BT is the title sponsor of the Paralympic World Cup; the sponsorship runs up to and includes the 2012 BT Paralympic World Cup.
The event is run in association with ParalympicsGB and the stakeholders of the BT Paralympic World Cup are the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA), Manchester City Council and UK Sport.
The BT Paralympic World Cup is sanctioned by the IPC, the UCI and IWBF.
The BBC, the official televised partner to the event, will broadcast live from the Manchester Aquatics Centre on Monday 25 May 2009 on BBC Television.