A USA triathlon team traversed Colorado in a relay ©Getty Images

Three Paralympic medallists were in a team of triathletes which completed a 483-mile relay ride across Colorado to raise funds for people negatively impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

Hailey Danz and Melissa Stockwell - second and third in the PT2 women's individual race at the Rio 2016 Paralympics respectively - both took part in the fundraising challenge, dubbed "Operation CO>COVID".

More than $21,000 (€17,300/19,100) has been raised for the USA Triathlon Foundation COVID-19 Relief Fund, which is providing grants to individuals and organisations within the multi-sport community adversely affected by the virus, and the Care and Share Food Bank for Southern Colorado.

The relay route saw riders collectively gain more than 6,800 metres of elevation and cut through the Rocky Mountains.

Danz began the relay on the Utah-Colorado state line, before all riders then joined in for the final mile to enter Kansas some 25 hours later, having divided the cycling into shifts.

The route included a stopover in Colorado Springs to kneel for eight minutes and 46 seconds at City Hall in support of the Black Lives Matter movement and anti-racism demonstrations which have spread across the United States in recent times following the police killing of George Floyd.

"Everyone had these amazing rides and the weather was great, and everything went as great as it could have been," said Stockwell, who helped plan the ride.

"The goal was to beat the sun and we got to the Colorado-Kansas border just as the sun was setting. 

"It was picture perfect. 

"I think everyone is very tired but will be on a high the next couple weeks with the feeling of being able to give back, doing this as a team, doing this together. It was pretty incredible."

Paralympic hopeful Kyle Coon, his guide Alex Libin, Kendall Gretsch - a gold medallist in biathlon at the 2018 Winter Paralympics and a Tokyo 2020 hopeful - and Jack O'Neil from the US junior development team were also part of the squad.

USA Triathlon chief executive Rocky Harris and Olympic hopefuls Renée Tomlin and Kevin McDowell completed the group taking part.