By Emily Goddard

Sarah Storey 211212December 21 - British Cycling has launched a search for new Paralympic talent for the Rio 2016 and 2020 Games after learning of its 61 per cent increase in UK Sport funding for the next four years.

Britain's cyclists delivered an outstanding performance at the London 2012 Paralympics, where the team topped the medal table with eight golds, nine silvers and five bronzes, and now British Cycling is hunting for the next generation of Paralympians to follow in the footsteps of the likes of Sarah Storey, Jon Allan Butterworth and Jody Cundy to build on its success.

"In 2012 we have seen unprecedented results for British Para-cyclists but there is still work to be done to ensure that we continue to be successful," GB performance manager Gareth Sheppard said.

"We want to hear from any keen and committed cyclists that are aspiring to medal at a Paralympic Games.

"In particular, we are looking for young, talented hand cyclists, female cyclists in the C1-4 classes and male C2 athletes but we want to hear from any classifiable athlete aspiring to be a future world champion."

There is a five stage classification system for cyclists ranging from C5 athletes like Butterworth, who won three silver medals at London 2012, and Storey (pictured top), Britain's most decorated female Paralympian in history with 11 gold, eight silver and three bronze medals; below knee amputees like C4 Cundy, Beijing 2008 gold medallist and bronze medal winner at London 2012; CP athletes like C3 Darren Kenny, multiple world and Paralympic champion; to C1 athletes like Mark Colbourne, a gold and silver medallist in London.

There are two trike (three-wheeled) classes for those CP unable to ride a solo bike like David Stone - gold medallist at both London 2012 and Beijing 2008, as well as visually impaired tandem classification for both track and road events.

The hand cycle classification is open to all wheelchair athletes.

Talent Confirmation Days are due to take place in Newport in both January and February next year, and those interested in applying to attend need to fill in the application form and send it to [email protected] by January 4 2013.

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