Para cycling will see two disciplines – road and track – at Tokyo 2020. Here are some athletes who will battle for medals in one and both!
Maximilian Jaeger (GER)
A former skier, Jaeger has been cycling since 2017 and entered the spotlight two years later at the World Championships in Emmen, Netherlands. He captured silver medals in both the road race and time trial T2. He went on to win the time trial at the 2021 World Cup in Ostend, Belgium, and came in third in the road race. And he is only 21 years old.
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Lora Fachie (GBR)
With pilot Corrine Hall, Fachie (formerly Turnham) won gold and broke the world record in the tandem pursuit on the track and bronze in the time trial on the road at the Rio 2016 Paralympics. It was a huge rebound for her after missing out on a medal at her home Games in 2012. The Brit has excelled in both disciplines, winning multiple World Championships medals, five on the track and seven on the road.
Diego Duenas (COL)
The former race skater reinvented himself to become one of the top C4 track Para cyclists. While Duenas competes in both disciplines, his most success has been in the velodrome. His gold in the individual pursuit at the 2015 Parapan American Games gave him confidence entering his first Paralympics the following year, bringing home a bronze in the event. The 2019 has been his most successful as he defended his Parapan American title in Lima, Peru, followed by a world title in the scratch and bronze in the individual pursuit.
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Oksana Masters (USA)
The multi-talented Masters has competed in Winter and Summer Paralympics in cross-country skiing, biathlon, rowing and cycling. She is coming off her first Paralympic golds from PyeongChang 2018, winning the cross-country sprint and middle distance races. So far, the on-snow training seems to pay dividends on the road. She missed the road race podium at Rio 2016 but looks determined not to repeat that result in Tokyo, having already taken a pair of silver medals in the time trial H5 at the 2019 Worlds.
Luca Mazzone (ITA)
Tokyo 2020 will be Mazzone’s fifth Paralympics but second as a cyclist. He won Paralympic medals in swimming but his first golds came in cycling at Rio 2016, where he won the time trial and silver in the road race H2. He also helped Italy celebrate gold in the team relay, and the Italian is not slowing down, having won a pair of world titles in 2019.
Carol Cooke (AUS)
Cooke will turn 60 this year but she is aiming to add a Paralympic medal to the three golds won at London 2012 (mixed time trial) and Rio 2016 (road race and time trial T2). Her journey in Para sports began in 2006 in Para rowing. Cooke narrowly missed out on being part of the Australian team at the 2008 Beijing Paralympics. This led to cycling, which saw her go on a winning streak on the road until 2018. She needs to be in top form ahead of Tokyo, where she will face USA’s Jill Walsh, who beat her in both the women’s time trial and road race T2 at the 2019 World Championships.
Ricardo Ten Argiles (ESP)
Argiles is a Paralympic champion in swimming from Sydney 2000, Beijing 2008 and London 2012. And now he has a thirst for one more Paralympic Games. The Spaniard only took up cycling in 2017 and was a natural athlete, falling just short of a road race world title and taking bronze in the time trial. The following year was a huge success, reaching the top of the C1 ranking with the road race World Championship title and multiple World Cup victories.
Sini Zeng (CHN)
Zeng blazed into the Paralympic scene after winning three medals – two golds – on the track and road at London 2012. A C2 cyclist, Zeng returned to her second Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, hoping to defend her titles but fell just short of the podium in both her track events. She managed silver in the road race and bronze in the road time trial, and has since continued showing she has golden potential at her third Games in both disciplines. She won the individual time trial and took bronze in the road race at the 2019 Road Worlds, and showed her speed again by winning the individual pursuit at the 2020 Track Worlds.