For 23 British cyclists, the ride to the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games makes an important stop at the Para Cycling Track World Championships that begins 30 January in Milton, Canada.
The Worlds are the final major international track competition before the Paralympics, and British Cycling announced their squad who will try to earn ranking points toward Tokyo 2020.
Leading the way are reigning world champions Dame Sarah Storey, Jody Cundy, Kadeena Cox, James Ball, Neil Fachie and Matt Rotherham, and Sophie Thornhill and Helen Scott.
Kilo world record holders and sprint world champions Fachie and Rotherham are again paired together in the men’s tandem events. Meanwhile, Ball – reigning kilo world champion – is piloted by Lewis Stewart as Pete Mitchell continues his recovery from injury.
Sam Ruddock – who competed in track and field events at both London 2012 and Rio 2016 – will contest a cycling World Championships for the first time, while reigning Paralympic champions Steve Bate and Adam Duggleby, Lora Fachie and Corrine Hall, Louis Rolfe and Jon-Allan Butterworth will also compete for world titles.
“Even for those of us who have experienced previous Paralympic Games, this part of the cycle is hugely exciting,” said Cundy, who last year won the 16th track world title of his career as he retained his MC4 kilo crown.
“These World Championships represent the last real opportunity to test yourself in a competitive environment before the Games, so it’s a crucial milestone as everyone’s preparations for Tokyo intensify.”
“I’m excited to see what this team can deliver,as this event is an important milestone which will really start shaping the team for the Paralympic Games,” Jon Pett, Head of Para Cycling at British Cycling, said.
“We have selected a strong team with a focus on strengthening our qualification status and building momentum towards Tokyo, following the successes of each previous track world championships in this Paralympic cycle.”
FULL SQUAD FOR 2020 TRACK WORLDS
Kadeena Cox (WC4), Dame Sarah Storey (WC5), Crystal Lane-Wright (WC5), Sophie Thornhill and Helen Scott (WB), Lora Fachie and Corrine Hall (WB), Sam Ruddock (MC1), Louis Rolfe (MC2), Matthew Robertson (MC2), Jaco van Gass (MC3), Fin Graham (MC3), Jody Cundy (MC4), Jon-Allan Butterworth (MC5), Will Bjergfelt (MC5), Jon Gildea (MC5), Blaine Hunt (MC5), Neil Fachie and Matt Rotherham (MB), James Ball and Lewis Stewart (MB), Steve Bate and Adam Duggleby (MB).