Parapan Road Cycling

Cycling - Road - Parapan Am

Cycling - Road - Parapan Am

Medal Events

Men – road race

Mixed – road race
BT1-2H1-2 M, H1-5 W

Women – road race

Mixed – time trial

Photo Gallery

Sport Overview

On the road, athletes ride four different types of bicycles: traditional, tandem, tricycles and hand ergometers.

At the Guadalajara 2011 Parapan Am Games, Canada took home three gold, two silver and four bronze in the sport. Colombia followed close behind with three gold, two silver and two bronze medals. USA took home gold in overall medals. Watch for Canadian Jaye Milley in 2015.


Para-cycling got its start with visually impaired cyclists competing on tandem bikes. Today, the sport also includes athletes with physical impairments, cerebral palsy and amputees.

How it works

Bicycles, tricycles, tandems and handcycles can be used in road racing events. Cyclists begin en masse and complete a set number of circuits of a 7- to 10-kilometre lap. First across the finish line wins.

In time trial competitions, athletes start individually in 60-second intervals. It’s a race against the clock; the fastest time over the set distance wins.


The pedals on a handcycle are operated by hand. Handcycles have two wheels at the back and one at the front.

The sighted athlete at the front of the tandem bike.

A bicycle built for two and used by athletes with a visual impairment, who sit at the back.

Used by athletes whose balance makes them unable to race on a two-wheeled bike.

To follow closely behind another rider to take advantage of their slipstream and expend less energy.

Echelon (or paceline)
A line of riders taking turns at the lead and staggered in order for each rider to get maximum wind protection.

The main group of riders.



Physical Impairment and Visual Impairment

Sport Classes

Athletes with physical impairments either compete on handcycles, tricycles or bicycles. Athletes with visual impairments compete on tandems with a sighted “pilot.”

Handcycle H1–4:
There are four different sport classes for handcycle racing. Lower numbers indicate a more severe activity limitation.

Cyclists in H1–3 compete in a reclined position. Athletes in the H1 class have a complete loss of trunk and leg function and have limited arm function. Athletes in the H3 class have no leg function but good trunk and arm function.

Cyclists classified as H4 sit on their knees and use their arms and trunk to accelerate the handcycle.

Tricycle T1–2:
Athletes are classified T1 and T2 due to an impairment affecting their balance and coordination and as a result cannot ride a bicycle. T1 is allocated to athletes with more significant coordination problems or loss of muscle power than athletes competing in T2.

Bicycle C1–5:
Athletes who are able to use a standard bicycle compete in the five C1-5 sport classes. The sport class profiles include amputations, impaired muscle power or range of motion and impairments affecting coordination. C1 is allocated to athletes with the most severe activity limitation, while C5 is allocated to athletes who meet the minimum disability criteria.

Tandem TB:
Cyclists with a visual impairment race on a tandem bike with a sighted cyclist in the front. Cyclists with visual impairment either have a low visual acuity or a visual field restricted to a diameter of 40 degrees.

Additional Information

Additional Information