Paralympics Cycling To Be Held In North Alabama
HUNTSVILLE- The start of the 2021 season for U.S. Paralympics Cycling will be held in North Alabama with the Cycling Open presented by Toyota in Huntsville and will feature men’s and women’s road races and individual time trials inside Cummings Research Park April 17-18.
More than 100 Paralympic athletes from around the country will compete in the event, which will serve as a selection race for World Cup races in Belgium and Italy, where Team USA Para-cyclists will seek qualification and selection for the Paralympic Summer Games in Tokyo.
The Paralympic competition consists of handcycles, tricycles and bicycles with events held in sprints, individual pursuits, 100-meter time trial, road races and road times for both individuals and teams.
For North Alabama, the unique event for local residents will also be unique from the standpoint of free admission and open to the public. This will be a chance to witness some of the most remarkable athletes in the country and cheer them on as true Americans, many of whom have a U.S. Military background.
One of the extraordinary athletes expected to compete in the Cycling Open is Jennifer Schuble of Homewood from the area of Birmingham. She is a multi-year Paralympic medalist after arriving in the sport in 2007. Schuble suffered a traumatic brain injury while attending the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, as well as, another severe brain injury in a car wreck. To add to her already incredible physical challenges she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2004.
There will be two different courses setup within the confines of Cummings Research Park- A 9.3-mile trek for the time trials and a 7.5-mile layout for road races. For cycling enthusiasts, it’s noted there’s as much as a 266-foot elevation gain and 254-foot elevation loss within the assigned courses.
The elite athletes among Paralympics have a wide range of disabilities that each has overcome to be able to compete on such a high level.
Information regarding local involvement, including a local school poster contest, will be released in upcoming weeks. Current information on the event is available on both websites- cummingsresearchpark.com and hsvchamber.org.