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Preview: 2018 UCI Para Cycling Track World Championships

Wednesday, March 21, 2018
World’s best Para-cycling athletes will return to Rio de Janeiro this week for the 2018 UCI Para Cycling Track World Championships (March 22-25). Two years after the Paralympic Games in the Brazilian metropole, they will get their change on revenge or new success stories. 

Paralympic champions

The Netherlands will send 7 athletes to Brazil. Three of them already won a gold medal at the Voldromo Municipal do Rio. Tristan Bangma won a gold medal at the Paralympics on the 1 km time-trial, together with tandem pilot Teun Mulder. Together with his new teammate Patrick Bos, he is determined to repeat this success. Alyda Norbuis has good memories to the track in Rio as well. The former world champion won gold at the 3km individual pursuit (women’s C1-3) in Brazil. Daniel Abrahm Gebru is the third rider in the Dutch team with a Paralympic title behind his name. Gebru won his gold medal in the road race and is going to make his debut on the Para Cycling Track World Championships.


Former world champion and new talents

Arnoud Nijhuis, Caroline Groot and Stijn Boersma complete the Dutch squad. Former world champion Nijhuis (C1) already won a bronze and a silver medal at the Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. At the world championships he wants to defeat his big competitor Li Zhang Yu (China) at the 500m and 1km. Groot and Boersma are both young riders, who will make their debut at the highest level. The two talents already showed their potential at the World Cup in Manchester November last year. Groot will participate in the women’s C2, Boersma in the men’s C3. Vincent ter Schure and pilot Timo Fransen originally belonged to the Dutch team as well, but the duo unfortunately is not fit enough to compete at the World Championships.


Competitors

Great-Britain is traditionally very strong on the track. In 2016 British cyclists won no less than 12 medals at the Paralympic Games - including eight gold medals. The British team also concludes multiple world champions and record holders. Other strong teams at the UCI Para Cycling Track World Championships are Australia (16 riders) and the USA (18 riders), while China sends out Paralympic Champions Li Zhang Yu – the biggest competitor to Arnoud Nijhuis – and Liang Guilhua to Brasil. The home country itself is hoping for new success by Lauro César Chaman. Chaman won three medals - one silver and two bronze - at the 2017 UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships.


Para-cycling in The Netherlands

The next para-cycling world championships will take place in The Netherlands, both track and road. Apeldoorn is hosting the 2019 Para-cycling Track World Championships (March 14-17), while Emmen is hosting the road race (September 12-15). Since both world championships are taking place in a pre-paralympic year, the events are the most important qualification opportunity for the Paralympic Games for Tokyo in 2020. Just like last year Emmen (The Netherlands) is also hosting a Para-cycling Road World Cup in July this year (Juli 6-8). All three events will be organised by The Organizing Connection, a Dutch event consultancy company with more than 20 years of experience in organising cycling races on the highest level.
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