Para-Cycling Road World Cup to begin in Italy

Nineteen World Cup winners and 21 world champions will take part in the first stage of the 2014 season’s World Cup. 07 May 2014
Alessandro Zanardi

Alex Zanardi races on the Brands Hatch course at the London 2012 Paralympic Games.

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In total, 318 athletes from 36 countries will participate in the weekend’s competitions.

After Rome in 2012 and Merano-Marlengo in 2013, the Italian organisers of the UCI Para-Cycling Road World Cup will lead fans to the region of Tuscany in the seaside town of Castiglione Della Pescaia, for the first stage of the World Cup on Friday (9 May).

Competition in the opening World Cup round kicks off with the time trials on a fast course through the town centre. The athletes will cover the 15km circuit once or twice depending on their sport class. The road races from 10-11 May will lead the riders on a short circuit of just over 8km, to be completed between three (for the tricycles and women’s H1-2 classes) and 14 times (men’s B).

In total, 318 athletes from 36 countries will participate in the weekend’s competitions. Although it is the first major road competition of the year, many of those in the C and B classes already confronted each other at the UCI Para-Cycling Track World Championships in Aguascalientes, Mexico, last month.

Second behind the USA in the overall World Cup rankings last year, the Italian athletes will be hoping to perform well at home this weekend. With a team of 50 competing in Castiglione Della Pescaia, they can count on a particularly strong handcycling contingent which includes 2013 World Cup winners Luca Mazzone and Alex Zanardi, as well as Francesca Fenocchio, who won the women’s H2 class last year in front of fellow Italian Claudia Schuler.

The Australians have three road world champions and led a very successful campaign at the Track World Championships but will not compete in Italy.

However, 19 World Cup winners from 2013 and 21 reigning road world champions will be present, making the task of claiming the leader’s jersey in the different categories particularly difficult.

After Castiglione Della Pescaia, the 2014 UCI Para-Cycling Road World Cup will move to Segovia, Spain, for the second round from 25-27 July.