Maniago 2018: Ursula Schwaller returns for Swiss

Two-time Paralympic bronze medallist heads Road Worlds team 01 Aug 2018
female Para cyclist Ursula Schwaller using a hand bike on the road

Ursula Schwaller has come out of retirement to compete for Switzerland at the 2018 Road Worlds

ⒸMarcel Kaderli
By Swiss Paralympic

Two-time London 2012 cycling bronze medallist Ursula Schwaller is coming out of retirement to represent Switzerland at the Road World Championships which start on Thursday (2 August) in Maniago, Italy.

The 42-year-old H2 rider made the decision after receiving an urgent call from Swiss national coach Dany Hirs. It follows the withdrawal of Paralympic silver medallist Tobias Fankhauser from the squad due to injury.

Hirs said: "It was very difficult to find a quick substitute for Tobias. We are very happy as Ursula Schwaller has agreed to step in during this season in order to support Switzerland.

"We hope Tobi gets fit soon. For this we wish him a lot of strength and good rest.”

Fankhauser was arguably Switzerland’s biggest hope ahead of Maniago 2018. The 29-year-old was Switzerland’s only cyclist to reach the podium at Rio 2016, when he won bronze in the men’s road race H2.

Another big name competing in Maniago will be 26-year-old Benjamin Fruh, who won gold in the men’s time trial H1 at last year’s Road Worlds. “I will try to get the world title in the time trial a second time!” he said with confidence.

Switzerland’s most decorated Para cyclist Heinz Frei (H3) will also travel to Maniago. The three-time Paralympic champion and former wheelchair racer aims to outdo last year’s performance, when he sealed one silver and one bronze.

Sandra Graf (women’s H3), Felix Frohofer (men’s H4), Sandra Stockli (women’s H4), Fabian Recher (men’s H4), Luca Gilgen (men’s H4), Cornel Villiger (men’s H3) and Roger Bolliger (men’s C2) complete the strong team.

Hirs added: “We've got motivated and fast riders and we aim to work hard to close the gap with the strongest nations.”