Who is behind the international cycling event?
2013 saw the start of an extremely successful collaboration between Dietmar Ematinger and Walter Mayrhuber. The two Upper Austrians managed to turn a small event with 40 participants into an international cycling event. At the Sparkasse UEC Paracycling European Championships presented by Lenzing AG as well as the Upper Austria Cycling Tour, disabled and amateur athletes will again get their money’s worth from May 25 to 29, 2022.
On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Union of Disabled Sports Club (UBSV) Attnang-Vöcklabruck in 2013, the idea of a Paracycling event was born. UBSV chairman Dietmar Ematinger and Walter Mayrhuber from ASVÖ ÖAMTC X-Treme TRI Schwanenstadt managed together to set up a great inclusion event for disabled sports and popular sports. “The event was very well received by the para-athletes right away. The Paracycling consultant Christian Peter and current Paralympic winner Walter Ablinger approached us to put the event on an international footing (UCI- World Cycling Federation). The Austrian participants should get the opportunity to collect important international UCI points in their own country”, Dietmar Ematinger remembers the beginnings.
Great development for international tour
And so already in 2014 the first UCI Upper Austria Paracycling Tour was organized. Year after year, a great international tour for all disability sports classes in Upper Austria followed. The stage locations were adapted and adjusted every year. Due to the excellent work of Walter Mayrhuber and Dietmar Ematinger the team could apply for the first UEC Paracycling European Championship. After the cancellation in 2020 due to COVID-19, a few months later the Sparkasse UEC Paracycling European Championships presented by Lenzing AG were confirmed for the years 2021 and 2022. “While there were around 40 participants at the start of the 2013 event, we have already been able to welcome around 120-150 participants from four continents at the last three events,” says a delighted Walter Mayrhuber.
Valuable experience in disabled sports
The two main people responsible, Walter Mayrhuber and Dietmar Ematinger, bring plenty of experience to the table. Ematinger has suffered from joint stiffness in all extremities since birth. “When you have to live with a handicap, obstacles are often put in your way. That’s why it’s all the more important to always make the best of it and also to take the initiative,” Dietmar Ematinger is convinced. And the man from Attnang-Puchheim has managed to do this with flying colors, whether in his private, professional or sporting life. Dietmar Ematinger also draws on valuable experience in disabled sports. In the beginning, he devoted himself entirely to running competitions in athletics. In 1984, he qualified for the Olympic Games for people with disabilities (now the Paralympic Games), but unfortunately he was unable to compete due to an injury. Dietmar Ematinger then switched to motorsports and competed in touring car races.
Commitment to disabled sports
Even after his active career as an athlete, Dietmar Ematinger is very involved in disabled sports. He has been chairman of the UBSV Attnang-Vöcklabruck for 25 years. He managed to make the club more and more known and to ensure a strong influx of members. Through his job as a porter at the district administration of Vöcklabruck, he was also able to establish important contacts. “All the mayors from the district always had to pass by my place when they had business at the district headquarters. These acquaintances of course helped us, especially at the beginning of the Paracycling events, in negotiations with the participating municipalities,” says Ematinger.
Experienced cycling event organizer
On the other hand, there is Walter Mayrhuber, a real connoisseur of the cycling scene. In his junior years he was an active cyclist himself. At the age of 25, however he decided for the profession and against professional sports. Walter Mayrhuber also moved to the functionary level at an early age and took over the function of section leader immediately after his active retirement. Shortly thereafter, he founded an independent club and organized extremely high-profile cycling events for the junior and elite levels. Highlights included the triple national championships in mountain racing, time trials and road races or international races such as the Giro di Festina. “The major international doping scandals subsequently made it really difficult for us to organize cycling races. So in the meantime it was rather smaller events, before Dietmar approached me to set the Paracycling event up together,” says Walter Mayrhuber.
The focus is always on what we have in common
The extremely experienced promoter and organizer from Schwanenstadt has been burning for this great inclusion event ever since. In addition to para-athletes, the Upper Austria Cycling Tour also offers a great stage for popular sports. While the cyclists took part in individual events in the first few years, in 2021 it became a real tour with the awarding of leader jerseys. “For me, this is a very special event. Disabled athletes don’t want to be isolated and want to be in the middle of life. That’s why it’s so important to bring disabled sports and popular sports together. Dietmar and I had the idea and the desire to make the sport accessible not only to certain groups, but we always see the common ground. I think we have succeeded very well,” says a proud Walter Mayrhuber. And so the two of them and their team are already looking forward to the second Sparkasse UEC Paracycling European Championships presented by Lenzing AG and Upper Austria Cycling Tour from May 25 to 29, 2022.
Overview and Schedule Sparkasse UEC Paracycling European Championships presented by Lenzing AG and UAC Tour
25. May 2022 in Gallspach
Start 05.00 p.m.: 1st stage Upper Austria Cycling Tour 10×3,12km
Start 06.15 p.m.: Team Relay Handbike
26 May 2022 in Schwanenstadt
Start 01.05 p.m.: 2nd stage Upper Austria Cycling Tour 10×6,3km
Start 03.00 p.m.: Time Trial Handbike
27 May 2022 in Lochen am See
Start 9.30 a.m.: 3rd stage Upper Austria Cycling Tour 7×9,94km
Start 02.30 p.m.: Time trial Cycling, Tandem, Tricycle
28 May 2022 in Altenhof/Gaspoltshofen
Start 11.15 a.m.: 4th stage Upper Austria Cycling Tour 10×8,46km
Start 02.15 p.m.: Road race Tandem, Cycling
29 May 2022 in Peuerbach
Start 11.00 a.m.: Road race Handbike, Tricycle
Start 02.15 p.m.: 5th stage UAC Tour 18×4,4km