Sports Summary

Cycling is a relatively new sport for Paralympians, with the visually impaired athletes the first group to take part. Cerebral palsy and athletes with limb loss or limb deficiency followed, joining the competition in 1984.

Cycling is divided into track and road events. Visually impaired athletes compete on tandem bicycles with a sighted team mate (pilot).  These athletes can compete in both track and road events.

Cyclists with limb loss or deficiency, spinal cord or nerve damage; or cerebral palsy/ acquired brain injury or similar conditions compete in track and road events using bicycles modified for their needs. Riders may use a standard bike, handcycle or trike depending on their level of impairment.


International Paralympic Committee

Cycling Australia

Union of Cyclists International

Events & Disciplines

  • Track events – Time Trial, Individual Pursuit, Team Sprint, Tandem Sprint
  • Road events – Road Race, Time Trial


Who is eligible for Cycling? Athletes with a vision impairment or physical impairment.

What are the classes? Athletes are classified into classes depending on their functional ability. Athletes are given classifications with a prefix B, C, T or H to indicate the type of bike an athlete uses during competition.

Athletes with a vision impairment: B1-B3 (Tandem bicycle)
Athletes with a physical impairment: C1-C5 (2 wheeled bicycle), T1-T2 (tricycle),  H1- H4 (handcycle).

More: Para-cycling Classification Information Sheet (updated October 2019)

How do I get a classification?

Classification Masterlist: Cycling Australia manages the National Cycling Classification Masterlist. This list includes athletes who have been classified as per UCI Classification Rules or Paralympics Australia Classification Policy.

Rules & Equipment

Road cycling takes place on public roads, which are closed to traffic.

Track cycling takes place on a velodrome made up of two straight sides and two curved ends. International regulations require the length of the track to be such that a whole number of laps or half laps shall give a distance of 1km with a width of 7-10m.

Bicycles, Tricycles, Tandems and Handcycles must conform to the technical regulations of the Union Cyclists International (UCI) and IPC Cycling Rules.

Helmet: During competition, athletes must wear a hard shell protective helmet to a recognized international standard. The helmet colour is standardized depending on the class of the athlete (red, blue, green or white).

Medal History

Year Gold Silver Bronze total
2012 6 4 4 14
2008 3 5 7 15
2004 10 7 7 24
2000 10 3 8 21
1996 5 5 0 10


We encourage those wishing to explore Para-cycling to contact their state federation in the first instance. The national federation link below provides information on the national high performance program leading to competing internationally and at the Paralympic Games.

National Federation
Organisation Website
Cycling Australia
State Federations
State Organisation Website
ACT Cycling ACT
NSW Cycling NSW
NT Cycling NT
QLD Cycling QLD
SA Cycling SA
TAS Cycling TAS
VIC Cycling VIC
WA WestCycle