Individuals with a vision impairment compete on tandem bikes with a sighted ‘pilot’ steering the bike and a visually impaired ‘stoker’ at the back. Para cycling at the Paralympic Games is divided into track and road events, with visually impaired cyclists competing in four events. The road events include the road race and the individual time trial and the track events include the time trial and individual pursuit. As in the Olympic competition, the track events are divided into time trial, pursuit and sprint events. The race format and distances vary according to the event, but the dynamics are similar to Olympic track events. Para cyclists with visual impairment either have a low visual acuity (less than 6/60) and/or a visual field of less than 20 degrees.
Paralympics New Zealand lead a comprehensive Para cycling development programme in New Zealand as part of their wider talent identification programme. New Zealand has had an extremely strong representation of Para cyclists on the world stage, including the multiple world champion tandem pairing of Emma Foy and Laura Thompson, who are the current world title holders and world record-holders in the individual pursuit. Emma and Laura have also won multiple medals at other World Championship and World Cup events in both road and track events. Visit the Paralympics New Zealand website if you are interested in competitive Para cycling.
Visit the Paralympics New Zealand website if you are interested in competitive Para cycling.
The Blind Foundation have a number of tandem bikes throughout the country that can be hired on a daily or weekly basis for a small charge. If you are interested in trying Para cycling or participating in Para cycling as a recreational sport contact Blind Sport New Zealand today.