The Road Para-Cycling World Championship arrives in Portugal less than a decade after the Portuguese Cycling Federation started the work of promoting this discipline of the sport. “My approach to paracyclism takes place in 2009, but it is only in 2012 that everything takes a different direction with the management of the sport by the Portuguese Cycling Federation. The growth happened at all levels: number of riders and competitions, competitiveness and presence of the National Team in major international events. This World Championship is the result of all of that ”, recalls Telmo Pinão, one of the two Portuguese cyclists who participated in the 2016 Paralympic Games.

Luís Costa is the other paralympic in Portuguese cycling. The winner of the bronze medal in the H5 class time trial event at the 2017 World Championship is happy with the event that will take place at the Circuito Estoril. He considers that “it is a prize for evolution that national paracyclists have been presenting in recent years. Although we are still less than we would like, the international results that we have achieved do not go unnoticed and Portugal already has an excellent image in the world of international para-cycling ”.

The two riders converge on the idea that the competition can be seen as a prize for the route already left behind, but they also agree that it will not be the end of the journey. It may even be the beginning of something bigger.

“The World Championship will promote this cycling discipline like never before. For the many good results we achieve worldwide, we have never managed to have the impact on society that an event of this caliber can achieve. I sincerely hope that this will result in the emergence of more interested in competing in national para-cycling ”, adds Luís Costa.

Telmo Pinão also sees opportunities for development and recognition: “This competition will bring benefits to the country upstream and downstream. We will have a considerable number of participants, an opportunity to show our organizational capacity. It will be of enormous importance for all Portuguese adapted sports, and it can boost sponsorship for teams, entities and athletes, current and future ”.

The ambition of the two para-cyclists is to be among the best, taking advantage of the so-called “home factor”. “I’m going to fight for a top 5 in my class, something that is increasingly difficult, because the competitive level has risen a lot in recent years. Being the last major competition before the Paralympic Games, it will be an opportunity to evaluate my performance and to understand how I compare myself with those who will be the opponents in Tokyo”, explains Luís Costa.

Telmo Pinão will compete in class C2 and points “to the top ten, both in the road race and time trial”. For that, he will make a detailed preparation: “In addition to having a very complete calendar scheduled before the race, I will be at an altitude stage in the days before the competition”, he reveals.

Luís Costa will not be specifically preparing for the World Championship, but he looks at the international calendar as an opportunity, because “we have two World Cups in May, and the European Championship, the week before the World Championship. There will be plenty of tests on our ‘engines’”.

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