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Darren Hicks (Picture: Australia Cycling)

Darren Hicks’ life took a dramatic turn in August 2014 when he lost control of his garbage truck in the Adelaide region in Australia, killing two people. Criminal charges were pressed against him.

In the end, the police investigation demonstrated that the loss of control was due to a brake malfunction. The charges were dismissed but Mr. Hicks remained severely injured in the accident, doctors having to amputate his right leg up to the knee, shortly after. After going through rehab, Darren Hicks found paracycling.

During his first international competition in 2017, the Australian got two silver medals at the Route Paracycling World Championships in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa in both the C2 time trial race and the route race. During the last paralympics games held in Tokyo last September, Darren Hicks got a gold medal in the C2 time trial race.

This reigning paralympic champion will be competing in the next Route Paracycling World Champions in Baie-Comeau next August.

Updated: Nov 17, 2022

Carol Cooke (Picture : AustraliaCycling)

Canada-native, Carol Cooke is proudly representing the colours of Australia as she has been living in this country for many years now. In 1998, she received a multiple sclerosis diagnosis following which the doctors told her she could ‘’no longer part take in her crazy sports’’.

Cooke, who had been involved in sports since a very young age, first as a swimmer, decides that nobody will dictate her actions. In 2005, she decided to attend a talent spotting day organized by the Australian Paralympic Committee and enrolls into para-rowing where she gets the opportunity to represent Australia from 2008-2009. In 2011, she transitions to paracycling.

Cooke wins a silver medal when competing in her first World Championships in 2011 in the race-against-the-clock category. Shortly after, in 2012, Carol earns a gold medal in the mixed division of the race-against-the-clock category. Since 2013, Carol Cook has been dominating the T2 tricycle category : she indeed earned seven (7) world champion titles, including two (2) titles in Baie-Comeau’s 2013 Paracyling World Championship event.

During the Rio 2016 paralympic games, Carol wins two gold medals in the route race and race-against-the-clock categories. The 60 year-old athlete was the oldest Australian paralympianto ever compete when she raced at the Tokyo games last summer. At this event, she won the silver medal in the race-against-the-clock individual event in T2.During the route race, she unfortunately suffered a heavy fall after colliding with many other parathletes, including Québec’s own Marie-Ève Croteau. For the first time in her career, she was forced to abandon a race.

She will be back in her best shape to compete in Baie-Comeau’s Route paracycling world championships in August. The socially invested athlete founded a fund-raising event in 2001 called the 24 Hour Mega Swim. To this day, this fundraiser has raised over 9 million Australian dollars.

Pieter du Preez (Picture : UCI)

Pieter du Preez is one of the grand names in route paracycling. A horrible car accident in 2003 left this South African man tetraplegic, but that did not stop him from being the first ever para-athlete to complete an Ironman race in 2013! Since 2014, Pieter launched his paracycling career quickly becoming an icon in the H1 hand cycling division.

He has diversified his para-athlete career by competing in many different sports including para track and field, paratriathlon and route paracycling. Pieter du Preez has won several medals at the UCI Route Paracycling World Championships since 2014.

During the last paralympics games held in Tokyo last September, du Preez got gold in the H1 individual time trial division. The paralympic champion will be competing during the next World Championships in Baie-Comeau.

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