British Cycling has announced the 27-strong squad selected to represent Great Britain in next week’s UCI Para-Cycling Track World Championships in Saint Quentin en Yvelines, France.
The squad includes five riders who will be attempting to defend their titles in the first world Championships held since 2020, due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Dame Sarah Storey will return from injury to attempt to defend her women’s C5 individual pursuit world title. Seven-time world championship medallist Crystal Lane-Wright and teammate Morgan Newberry will also compete in the C5 category, while Kadeena Cox competes in the women’s C4, and Katie Toft competes in the C1 category. Daphne Schrager will take to the boards for her debut world championships in the women’s C3 category.
In the men’s events, Paralympic and world champion Jody Cundy will be looking to defend his C4 kilo title, and Jaco Van Gass will be heading to Paris with hopes to hold onto his C3 kilo, scratch, and omnium world titles. Rising star, Fin Graham will join Van Gass in the C3 races. Sam Ruddock will compete in the C1 category, while Will Bjergfelt and Blaine Hunt will represent Great Britain in the C5 events. Ryan Taylor makes his track world championships debut in the men’s C2 category.
Great Britain will take seven tandem pairings to the world championships, which take place in what will be the Paralympic velodrome at Paris 2024. This includes two-time Paralympic medallists, and para-cycling road time trial world champions, Sophie Unwin and Jenny Holl, who will be competing in their first ever Para-Cycling Track World Championships.
Long-standing pairing Neil Fachie and Matthew Rotherham will be aiming to defend their world title in the tandem kilo, while Steve Bate and Chris Latham also join the squad as a new tandem pairing in this Paralympic cycle.
New tandem pairings Libby Clegg piloted by Georgia Holt, Elizabeth Jordan piloted by Corrine Hall, Chris McDonald piloted by Adam Duggleby, and defending tandem sprint champion James Ball will be piloted by Steffan Lloyd to round off the squad.
Great Britain Cycling Team Performance Director, Stephen Park CBE, said: “We have an incredibly talented squad of para-cyclists, and going into the UCI Para-Cycling Track World Championships with five reigning world champions, some in more than one discipline, really highlights the success we’ve enjoyed at this event over recent years.
“With a number of debutants representing Great Britain for the first time in what will be the Paralympic velodrome at Paris 2024, I am expecting to see some impressive performances that will start to give us an idea of what successes the next Paralympics could bring for the Great Britain Cycling Team.”
Unfortunately, C2 rider Matthew Robertson and C4 rider George Peasgood have had to withdraw from the event due to injury, while C1 rider Fran Brown and C5 rider Jon Gildea have also had to withdraw due to health issues.
Great Britain Cycling Team squad for the UCI Para-Track Cycling World Championships:
Kadeena Cox WC4
Morgan Newberry WC5
Daphne Schrager WC3
Dame Sarah Storey WC5
Katie Toft WC1
Crystal Lane-Wright WC5
William Bjergfelt MC5
Jody Cundy MC4
Jaco van Gass MC3
Finlay Graham MC3
Blaine Hunt MC5
Sam Ruddock MC1
Ryan Taylor MC2
James Ball piloted by Steffan Lloyd
Steve Bate piloted by Chris Latham
Libby Clegg piloted by Georgia Holt
Neil Fachie piloted by Matthew Rotherham
Elizabeth Jordan piloted by Corrine Hall
Chris McDonald piloted by Adam Duggleby
Sophie Unwin piloted by Jenny Holl