Isle Of Man / Ellan Vannin

Cyclefest 2016: Paralympian Ian Sharpe will attempt solo race

ATHENS, GREECE - SEPTEMBER 19: Ian Sharpe and Paul Hunter take the Bronze Medal after finishing third in the Mens Individual Pursuit Open(B1-3) Finals at the Olympic Velodrome within the Olympic Sports Complex in Athens, Greece. (Photo by Ker Robertson/Getty Images) Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Ian Sharpe (left) is the Isle of Man's most successful ever Olympian.

A visually impaired Paralympian will attempt to complete a solo time trial cycle race in the Isle of Man having only ridden on his own three times.

Ian Sharpe has won 10 Paralympic medals at five Games in swimming, triathlon and tandem cycling with a pilot.

Mr Sharpe, who lost his sight aged six and has been using a cane for 20 years, said: "I can just about make out the white centre lines on the road."

Cyclefest's Storm the Tower race will get under way at 13:30 BST.

Former professional cyclist Rob Holden will ride in close proximity to the 44-year-old to shout instructions.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Ian Sharpe is used to competing in races of around 4km

Mr Sharpe will be competing in a 1.5 mile (2.4 km) solo hill climb on the Isle of Man TT course which includes hairpin corners and 700 ft (213 m) of climbing.

He said: "I had to choose an uphill race to control my speed. In the Paralympics I had a pilot and my job was to propel us along.

"In this race I will have to operate the gears and breaks as well as steering and pedalling. Just to finish it would be a massive achievement but I know my competitive side will come out."

After achieving success at European and World Championship level, Mr Sharpe was selected to represent Great Britain at the 1988 Paralympics in Seoul, where he won a silver and two bronze medals.

Image caption MotoGP star Cal Crutchlow is also competing in the 'Storm the Tower' race in the Isle of Man

Further silver and bronze medals followed in the next three Paralympics in Barcelona, Atlanta and Sydney.

The married father-of-three added: "I can just about make out the white centre lines on the road so will have to focus 100% on not losing them or I will ride straight off the road."

"It's going to be exciting, liberating and scary as hell. My mum thinks I'm mad."

Mr Holden said: "I know he is quick so I hope I can keep up with him."

Around 80 people will contest the time trial including MotoGP star Cal Crutchlow and Commonwealth Games rider Elliot Baxter.

Riders will race against the clock on the climb out of Ramsey which includes several sharp bends.

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