A host of Cycling Australia's best and brightest Para-cyclists have been named in the 2016 Australian Paralympic Cycling Team announced by the Australian Paralympic Committee (APC) in Adelaide today, which also marks 100 days to go until the Rio 2016 Games.The 16-member team boasts 13 athletes and three sighted pilots plus a great blend of youth and experience, with four reigning Paralympic champions joined by six debutants and two athletes contesting their second Games in a second sport.The team will be spearheaded by the likes of South Australian Kieran Modra for his eighth Paralympic Games, Michael Gallagher (VIC) who is chasing a third gold in as many Games, with Sue Powell (ACT), David Nicholas (QLD) and Carol Cooke (VIC) gunning for their second gold in their second appearances.Jessica Gallagher (VIC), a dual Winter Paralympic medallist and London Paralympic athletics competitor, plus Amanda Reid (NSW) who contested the 2012 London Games in swimming make their first cycling team.Reigning road world champion Alistair Donohoe (VIC), plus reigning road and track world champion Kyle Bridgwood (QLD) will make their debuts, as will three debut Pilots in Nicholas Yallouris (NSW) who will partner Matt Formston (NSW), plus Madison Janssen (QLD) and David Edwards (QLD) who will pilot Gallagher and Modra respectively. 2012 Paralympic medallists Alex Lisney (nee Green) (NSW) and Simone Kennedy (NSW) return for their second team, as is Stuart Tripp (VIC).
Announcing the team at the Adelaide Super-Drome today, Chef de Mission of the 2016 Australian Paralympic Team Kate McLoughlin said Australia’s cycling team would aim to cement itself as one of the world’s very best.“The talent on this team is enormous, which is evident in the fact that nearly every athlete has won either a Paralympic or World Championship medal,” McLoughlin said.“I’m confident that the 2016 cycling team is one of the strongest Australia has ever produced, and I’m looking forward to seeing the team aim for a top three finish on the track, and to be amongst the top 10 in road cycling.”It will be Games number eight for tandem cyclist Kieran Modra, who first competed at a Paralympic Games at Seoul 1988 in athletics. Transferring to swimming for the Barcelona 1992 Games, Modra made his Paralympic cycling debut in Atlanta 1996.With five gold and three Paralympic bronze to his name, Modra has come out of retirement with the sole purpose to enhance his already formidable Paralympic record.“It has been an honour to take home a medal at nearly every Games. When I lay them out on the table, it is like looking at a snapshot of history,” he said.“Like every athlete, I am absolutely chasing gold. But what I’m most excited about is putting all my training together to seek a personal best."Reigning Paralympic champion, Sue Powell echoed Modra.“Being a Paralympian means personal excellence, regardless of what I can or can’t do. Striving to find ways to achieve better outcomes and to proudly represent my country as the best athlete I can be,” she said.“I still get goosebumps when I see my footage from my gold medal final in the pursuit from London.  I get feelings of pride, relief and awe of what can be accomplished when you really commit 100 per cent to something."Australia has won 34 gold, 24 silver and 26 bronze medal at the Paralympic Games since Atlanta 1996, and in London, Australia achieved 14 medals, six of which were gold.Paralympic cycling is divided into track and road events and is open to all athletes who meet minimum physical requirements. Athletes who compete with neurological impairments ride standard racing bikes and in some classes tricycles, while vision impaired athletes compete on tandem bicycles. Athletes with amputations or permanent movement deficiencies use bicycles specially modified for their needs.The Rio Paralympic Games will take place from 7-18 September, 2016.
Full Team - 2016 Australian Paralympic Cycling TeamKieran Modra – Hallet Cove, SA
Michael Gallagher – Sunbury, VIC
David Nicholas – Prosperpine, QLD
Stuart Tripp – Northcote, VIC
Kyle Bridgwood – Narangba, QLD
Alistair Donohoe – Clifton Hill, VIC
Matt Formston – Wamberal, NSW
Jessica Gallagher – Seddon, VIC
Carol Cooke – Northcotte, VIC
Simone Kennedy – Ryde, NSW
Alexandra Lisney (nee Green) – Mosman, NSW
Sue Powell – Melba, ACT
Amanda Reid – NSW
David Edwards (pilot for Kieran Modra) – Karana Downs, QLD
Nick Yallouris (pilot for Matthew Formston) – Chittaway Point, NSW
Madison Janssen (pilot for Jessica Gallagher) – Lilydale, VIC
Source: Cycling Australia