GB Paralympians sweep the boards

Our Paralympic riders are national heroes after winning five golds in a sensational week at the London velodrome.

Roared on by 6,000-strong capacity crowds over four action-packed days we topped the medals table ahead of China and Australia with 15 podium places.

It was a fantastic performance, particularly with the UCI messing with the rules to deliberately limit British success. The sports world governing body makes no secret of their policy. “We don’t want to see one country continuing to dominate,’ says UCI president Pat McQuaid.

“That’s not good for the overall development of track cycling. We need to balance that out.” As with the Olympics, changes to the regulations made it more difficult to repeat the successes of four years ago.

“I don’t think anyone in British Cycling anticipated it would be quite as dominate as it was in Beijing, but we have proven we are the best” said tandem pilot, Craig MacLean. “The UCI will probably change the rules and regulations to our detriment again – if it does we will come out fighting.”

And the Rio squad in four years time could include MacLean’s fellow Scot, Sir Chris Hoy. Paralympic Performance Director Gareth Sheppard has not ruled out the possibility. “Maybe those are conversations we’ll have in the next couple of months,” he said.  “Craig has set a precedent.”

Robert Garbutt, Editor

This article was first published in the September 6 issue of Cycling Weekly. You can also read our magazines on Zinio and download from the Apple store.