Could you be a future Para-cycling champion? Scott launches search for new partner for Tokyo

Sophie Thornhill celebrates (right) Commonwealth gold in 2018 with pilot Helen Scott
Pilot Helen Scott (left) celebrates winning Commonwealth gold in 2018 with Sophie Thornhill

British cyclist Helen Scott is hoping her dreams of getting the chance to retain her Paralympic title in 2021 will be realised after launching a search to find a new partner.

It comes after Sophie Thornhill announced her retirement, ending a six-year partnership which yielded eight world titles and the Paralympic gold.

Scott and British Cyclingexternal-link advertised the vacancy on social media on Monday.

She said: “Hopefully the person we get will be up for the challenge.”

Scott, who won the time trial B kilo title in Rio with Thornhill, is hoping to attract a tandem ‘stoker’ – the blind or visually impaired rider at the back of the bike.

The 29-year-old from Birmingham added: “To find visually impaired athletes is quite difficult because most of the top athletes are already in their sports and heading to Tokyo, but you’d be surprised.

“I think we’re going to have five or 10 for sure who are going to be able to test, and who knows what will come off the back of us putting out a wider announcement.”

Scott also revealed she and her new partner would face a race against time to make the team for next year’s rescheduled Paralympics.

“Sophie and I had qualified for Tokyo – our bike was on that plane – but this is different and we’d need to qualify for the World Championships which will hopefully go ahead in January, so there is a time limit on when we need these performances,” she said.

“It is going to be tough but what a story it could be. It’s such an inspiring place to be. I’m biased, but who wouldn’t want this opportunity?”

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