The South African Para-cycling team is currently in Segovia, Spain, to participate in the second event of the 2014 UCI Para-cycling Road World Cup series, from 25-27 July.
Success for the riders in Spain is fundamentally important for two main reasons: the World Cup serves as a prelude to the 2014 World Championships that will be hosted by the USA in August (i.e. rider readiness in this regard can be gauged on the basis of World Cup performances); and there are important Rio 2016 nation points to be earned by riders with top-10 World Cup finishing positions.
The SA Team Preparation Plan for Rio 2016 is in its 2nd phase of implementation, which has the dual aims of revealing as early as possible the pool of South Africa’s internationally most competitive riders to form the squad from which the Paralympic team will ultimately be selected and providing development opportunities for riders capable of earning Rio 2016 nation points for South Africa.
Particular attention has been given to fair gender representation within the SA team participating in the Spain World Cup. The women’s contingent includes the 2013 World Cup series champion hand-cyclist Justine Asher, London 2012 Paralympian tricyclist Madre Carinus and first time international competitor Vicky Scheepers. Their male counterparts include the Paralympian hand-cyclists Ernst van Dyk and Stuart McCreadie and seasoned tricyclist Goldy Fuchs. At least three of these riders will be aiming to qualify for selection to the SA team that will participate in the 2014 World Championships.