Eligible impairment types:
- Impaired muscle power
- Impaired passive range of movement
- Limb deficiency
- Leg length difference
- Intellectual impairment
- Short stature
- Visual impairment
Athletes with physical impairments either compete on handcycles, tricycles or bicycles. Athletes with a visual impairment compete on tandems with a sighted “pilot”.
Sport classes: H1 - H5
There are five different sport classes for handcycling and lower numbers indicate a more severe activity limitation.
Cyclists in the sport classes H1-4 compete in a reclined position. While athletes competing in the H1 class have a complete loss of trunk and leg function and have limited arm function, e.g. because of spinal-cord injuries, athletes in the H4 class have no leg function but good trunk and arm function.
Cyclists in the H5 sport class sit on their knees and can thus use their arms and trunk to accelerate the handcycle. Athletes in this sport class might have leg amputations, paraplegia or mild to moderate athetosis or ataxia.
Sport classes T1, T2
Tricycle athletes are divided into two classes, T1 and T2. Due to impairments affecting their balance and co-ordination they ride a tricycle to increase stability. The sport class T1 is allocated to athletes with more significant co-ordination problems or loss of muscle power than athletes competing in sport class T2.
Sport classes C1 - C5
Athletes who are able to use a standard bicycle compete in the five sport classes C1-5. The sport class profiles include amputations, impaired muscle power or range of motion and also impairments affecting co-ordination, such as ataxia and athetosis. Sport class C1 is allocated to athletes with the most severe activity limitation, while the sport class C5 is allocated to athletes who meet the minimum impairment criteria.
For example, cyclists with a double below-the-knee amputation who use a prosthesis are likely to compete in the sport class C3, while an athlete with a below knee amputation and a prosthesis on one leg would compete in the sport class C4.
Sport class TB
Cyclists with a visual impairment race tandem with a sighted cycler (pilot) in front. Cyclists in this sport class must meet the criteria as set out in the B3 profile described here to compete, therefore B1, B2 and B3 athletes compete together in one event.