11 Sep 2006

Welsh wheels are firmly geared up for the IPC World Cycling Championships taking place in Aigle, Switzerland this week (9-18 September), and among those pulling on GB jerseys are South Wales' cycling stars Ellen Hunter and Jody Cundy.

Jody Cundy on the bikeIt is being held at the World Cycling Centre (WCC), headquarters of the International Cycling Union (UCI), with the two Welsh competitors forming part of an eleven-strong GB team, led by Paralympic cyclist Darren Kenny.

Some 300 athletes from around 40 countries will take part in road races, time trials and track sprint with disciplines in 500 metres, kilometre and pursuit competition, all in the surroundings of Agle and the WCC velodrome.

The event has existed since 1994 but is organised for the first time by the UCI, in collaboration with the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) after both governing bodies signed a cooperation agreement in 2002.

The agreement has enabled the UCI to integrate cycling for riders with disabilities among its governing disciplines.

This year cyclists will compete within one of the four groups of disability defined by the IPC: blind and visually impaired, cerebral palsy, loco-motor disabilities and handcycling.

Hunter will pilot fellow Scottish cyclist, Aileen McGlynn, in the kilometre tandem time trial events, while former British swimmer Jody Cundy, who now lives and trains in Swansea, will make his international cycling debut in the LC2 kilometre track time trial and team sprint.

Cundy demonstrated his expertise on the bike last May, breaking a world record in the team event at the Paralympic World Cup and already has a world record to his name in the individual kilometre event.