Para Cycling at the Parapan Am Games
The U.S. Para-cycling National Team is heading to the Parapan American Games Santiago 2023 following an incredibly successful year. During the 2023 UCI Para-cycling Track & Road World Championships in Glasgow, Scotland, Team USA won a total of 14 medals, including four gold medals. Samantha Bosco, a two-time Paralympic medalist, led the United States’ medal count, winning two gold, one bronze, and one silver medal. Seventeen-time Paralympic medalist, Oksana Masters, and world champion, Dennis Connors, also won gold medals for Team USA.
Team USA is looking to continue this medal-winning streak at the Parapan Am Games, where the U.S. will compete in both track and road competitions. The U.S. has one of the strongest cycling rosters in Santiago and will be battling with Colombia to win track, road, and overall medal counts. In 2019, Colombia won medals on the last day of competition, putting the country above the U.S. in terms of overall medal count. Team USA is looking to turn that around in Santiago.
Para cycling events will consist of a road individual time trial, track and road races between Nov. 19-26. Road events will take place at Plaza de Armas in Isla de Maipo while track events will be at the Velodrome Track in Peñalolén.
Athletes to Watch:
• Joe Berenyi: Berenyi is one of three athletes who will compete on both the road and track in Santiago, alongside Jamie Whitmore and Samantha Bosco. During the Parapan American Games Lima 2019, he won gold in the MC3 1km time trial (TT), silver in the pursuit, and bronze in the road race. After contemplating retirement, he has returned to racing in 2023 and is a strong contender to be on the podium in Santiago. He's the oldest member of the U.S. team, and one of the most recognizable athletes in the sport.
• Katie Walker: Walker competed at her first Para-cycling track world championships in 2022 and also competed in Glasgow in 2023. She is a strong medal contender in the WC5 500m TT, her specialty event. Katie is also Team USA’s female nominee for flagbearer.
• Tandem athletes: Both the men’s tandem, Michael Stephens and pilot Joe Christiansen, and women’s tandem, Hannah Chadwick and pilot Skyler Espinosa are “kilo” specialists (1km TT). They are both strong medal favorite in Santiago, which will be the first Games for all four athletes.
• Sam Bosco: Bosco is a two-time Paralympic medalist, winning two bronze medals in the WC5 road time trial and C5 individual pursuit during the Paralympic Games Rio 2016. Recently, Bosco won five medals, including two gold medals, at track and road world championships. Bosco is a strong medal contender in the 3km pursuit in Santiago. Jamie Whitmore: Whitmore has been focusing on the road since 2021 but is making a return to track racing in Santiago. She has a good shot at winning multiple medals across track and road in Santiago, and her resume is hard to ignore with multiple world championship medals, Paralympic medals, and Parapan Am Games medals.
• Dennis Connors: Connors is a three-time world championship medalist in MT2 events. During the most recent track and road world championships, Connors won gold in the road race and finished in fifth in the time trial. A U.S. Marine veteran, Connors also won a Para climbing national championship in 2022.
• Kate Brim: Brim joined the U.S. Para-Cycling National Team in 2022 and made her first international debut at the UCI Para-cycling Road World Cup where she won gold in both the time trial and road race for the WH2 category. Brim is a double world champion, winning in both the time trail and road race in 2022.
• Ryan Pinney: Pinney competed in the Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020, where he won bronze in the mixed team trial, fourth in the road race, and sixth in the time trial. During the 2023 UCI Para-cycling Track & Road World Championships, Pinney won silver in the MH3 individual time trial—his first career world championship medal.
• Brandon Lyons: During the 2023 UCI Para-cycling Road World Championships, Lyons, along with teammates Alicia Dana and Travis Gaertner, won bronze for Team USA during the handcycle relay. Lyons also competed in the 2019 Parapan American Games, where he won silver in both the mixed time trial and the road race for the MH3 classification.
• Freddie De Los Santos: De Los Santos has struggled to crack the podium in 2023 with consistent fourth-place finishes. The Parapan American Games could be his opportunity to reach the podium. The U.S. Army veteran has medal chances in both the time trial and road race for the MH5 classification and is the favorite to win the road race, where he will work with Lyons and Pinney to attempt a podium sweep. Freddie is also Team USA Para-cycling's male nominee for flagbearer.
• Elizabeth Neag: Neag is new to the U.S. team with 2023 being her first full season of international competition. As a road specialist in the WC5 classification, look for Neag to contend for medals in the C1-5 TT and C4-5 road race.
• Jenna Rollman won a medal in the WH3 category at the Huntsville world cup in 2023, and she was thrilled when she got the call to join the Team USA roster in Santiago. Rollman - along with Brim – will vie for a medal in both the women's H1-5 TT and the mixed road race.
Para Cycling Roster
Freddie De Los Santos