Sport

Invictus UK Trials: Cycling Takes Over Sheffield City Centre On Day Three

Roads were closed throughout the city as Invictus cyclists had their moment in the sun.

Cycling took over Sheffield City Centre on day three of the Invictus UK Trials.

The competitors completed time trials as they battled the Yorkshire heat.

Debbie O'Connell, one of the participants, won the women's recumbent race.

She said: "It was quite challenging over the cobbles but I think being in the city centre, it’s pulled in the crowds.

"The crowds are there on every corner cheering you on. You forget about the course and you just keep going.

"Cobbles is a bit of a bone-shaker but it is something different and a bit more challenging for everybody."

Despite individual victories, the cyclists came together as a team after the races.

Another winner on the day was David Abrutat. He believes that hand cycling has changed his life after his injury: "I’ve always been a cyclist since I was a little boy. I used to be a club cyclist and a triathlete.

"When I broke my back, it was obviously a devastating thing to happen to me.

"I started wheelchair racing and went into hand cycling. I competed at quite a high level and just loved it.

"It is the next best thing to normal cycling."

For Abrutat, hosting the Invictus Trials in Sheffield is a weird twist of fate: "Ironically, I was in hospital in Sheffield. It’s like coming home almost.

"It’s a great city and I’m really proud that Sheffield has put this on.

"They’ve done a fantastic job."

The cycling wowed the crowds as the only event to take part in Sheffield City Centre.

On hand to give out medals after the races was Paralympic star Dame Sarah Storey.

She felt inspired by the competitors: "I think the beauty of the Paralympic movement is it gives people the opportunity to look beyond what has happened to them as an injury.

"It gives them that vision, hope and expectation that they can move on from where they are after they have had a horrific situation in their life.

"It’s very inspiring to see people picking themselves up from some of their most traumatic days of their lives and using sport as a way to come back and feel good about themselves."