The classification rules of the International Federation for Cycling state that athletes with a physical impairment and athletes with a visual impairment are eligible to compete in the sport at the Paralympics.
Classification also groups athletes in classes, defined by the degree to which they are limited in their ability to perform activities within that sport. In Cycling these classes also define which type of cycle you compete on: bicycle, tricyle, handcycle or tandem.
There are four classes for competition:
- B – athletes with a visual impairment who compete on a tandem with a sighted pilot on the front
- H1–H4 – athletes with an impairment that affects their legs and so compete using a handcycle
- T1–T2 – athletes with an impairment that affects their balance and so compete using a tricycle
- C1–C5 – athletes with an impairment that affects their legs, arms and/or trunk but compete using a standard bicycle
In the H, T and C classes, the lower the athlete’s class number, the greater the impact of their impairment on their ability to cycle. So for example a C1 cyclist will have an impairment that has more of an impact on their ability to cycle than a C5 cyclist.