The announcement was made by the Australian Paralympic Committee (APC) in Adelaide this week.
The 16-member team boasts 13 athletes and three sighted pilots plus a great blend of youth and experience. Four reigning Paralympic champions will be joined by six debutants and two athletes contesting their second Games in a second sport.
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 Australian team will be spearheaded by South Australian Kieran Modra who will be lining up for his eighth Paralympic Games, Michael Gallagher who is chasing a third gold in as many Games, with Sue Powell and David Nicholas gunning for their second gold in their second appearances.
Jessica Gallagher (VIC), a dual Winter Paralympic medalist 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), Madison Janssen (QLD) and David Edwards (QLD).
Announcing the team at the Adelaide Super-Drome on Monday, 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.
“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.” - Kate McLoughlin
Tandem cyclist Kieran Modra, who first competed at a Paralympic Games at Seoul 1988 in athletics, brings a wealth of experience to the team. 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 to compete in his eighth Games 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.
“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." - Kieran Modra
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.
2016 Australian Paralympic Cycling Team
Kieran 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