Rio 2016 Paralympian Stephen Hills has set the tone for the New Zealand Para Cycling Team on day one of the UCI Para Cycling Road World Championships in South Africa winning a bronze medal in the Men’s T2 Time Trial.
This was Hills first ever World Championships medal and particularly well earned after working hard to fight back from a broken collar bone in June.
Stu MacDonald (Para Cycling Head Performance Coach, Paralympics New Zealand) said, “I am so pleased for Stephen. Following his injury only three months ago he has regained his confidence and now really feels like he belongs in the select group of Para cyclists that lead the field in his T2 classification.” He continued, “His goals for today were to focus on his cadence and power delivery throughout the 15km course. His execution of his race plan was spot on and he thoroughly deserved to stand on the podium.”
Stephen Hills (Paralympian) said, “It was pretty hard work out there and really technical especially in some places where I had to squeeze through the gaps to pass other trike riders. My first podium finish at a World Championships feels amazing. I would say the road race event is actually my strength, so bring on the road race on Saturday where I will aim to stick with Hans-Peter Durst who was today’s winner.”
Hans-Peter Durst (Germany) now five-time World Champion won gold in the Men’s T2 Time Trial, while Ryan Boyle (USA) took the silver medal ahead of Hills.
Tomorrow will see Hills team mates compete with Rio 2016 Paralympian Fraser Sharp and new comer Sarah Ellington in action in their respective Individual Time Trial events.