London Track World Cup event to be 'great step forward' for British sport
PUBLISHED: 18:00 02 November 2018
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Para-cycling events at the forthcoming Tissot UCI Track World Cup in London will represent a "great step forward for British sport" according to Great Britain Cycling Team Performance Director Stephen Park.
For the first time in world cup history, para events will take place as part of the event schedule when the fourth round of this season’s series takes place at Lee Valley VeloPark from December 14-16.
Park, whose Great Britain Cycling Team riders will be competing for Tokyo 2020 qualifying points at the event, said: “The introduction of para-cycling events will be one of the great aspects of the Tissot UCI Track World Cup in London.
“Great Britain hosted a fantastic Paralympics in 2012, and the British sporting public really recognised the high level of performance of our Paralympic athletes, creating an incredible stage for those athletes to perform.
“That led to a desire to see more para competition, and it’s great to see British Cycling really supporting that move, really trying to encourage parity for our Olympic and Paralympic athletes.”
Former Paralympic and reigning world tandem kilo champion Neil Fachie, who is set to compete in London, added: “Inclusion in London is huge.
“It’s been a long time coming — we’ve had inclusion in other events, particularly Commonwealth Games, and it’s always gone down really well — the crowds have loved it.
“We just want to go and put on a show, and hopefully it’ll be the first of many.
“Getting to race in front of a full crowd is going to be a great experience again, and it’ll get para-sport in the public eye.”
The event will be the first of a double header of para milestones over the next 12 months – next September’s UCI Road World Championships in Yorkshire will also feature a para-cycling event for the first time in the event’s history.
Park is delighted to see Britain at the forefront of this progress and added: “For our para-riders to be riding on the same stage as the able-bodied competitors – just as they will in Yorkshire next year — is a great step forward for British sport.
“It’s exactly the right thing for us to be doing, and I think we’re leading the world. It’s something we can be proud of.”
In London in December, all para-cycling events will take place on the first day of competition on December 14.
The men’s and women’s tandem sprint, C1-5 mixed team sprint and C1-5 time trials will all take place, while the able-bodied team sprint and team pursuit events will also conclude on the Friday evening.