The cycling discipline as a Paralympic sport first came about in the 1980s, initially focusing on visually impaired riders, who competed on a tandem. The first appearance of para cycling in the Paralympic Games was in 1984, which was co-hosted by New York and Stoke Mandeville in England, and this first event only included road races for people with cerebral palsy.
By 1996 the sport had evolved significantly, with track cycling included, along with each type of disability being classified into specific functional categories. Handcycling was included in the Sydney Programme of racing in 2000, as an exhibition event.
Qualification has evolved with the sport, with medical and functional criteria being included to even the playing field. Today the competition rules run accordingly with the functional ability of each participant.
There are now Annual World Cups and World Championships in both Track and Road and also at the Paralympic Games every 4 years.