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Published on 31-May-2018

New Zealand Para Cycling Team named to compete at 2018 UCI Para Cycling Road World Championships

Paralympics New Zealand (PNZ) is pleased to announce the selection of the New Zealand Para Cycling Team to compete at the 2018 UCI Para Cycling Road World Championships (Maniago, Italy) from 2 – 5 July.

The team of five Para cyclists is headlined by Rio 2016 Paralympian Stephen Hills (Taranaki). He will be joined by Sarah Ellington (Auckland), Nicole Murray (Waikato), Rory Mead (USA) and Eltje Malzbender (Te Awamutu).

Stu MacDonald (PNZ Para Cycling Head Performance Coach) said, “The naming of this team to represent New Zealand provides a great opportunity for us all to learn and perform with the best Para cyclists in the world. I am excited to see what the riders are able to bring to our campaign, but more importantly what we can learn collectively from the World Championships to help the riders and staff grow as we keep working hard towards the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.”

Malcolm Humm (PNZ High Performance Director) said, “This group is reflective of the huge amount of work that the team at Paralympics New Zealand has been putting in behind the scenes to ensure we have opportunities to bring talented Para cyclists through the sport and onto the international stage. Through the development of strong structures and pathways across both our talent identification and athlete development programmes we are bringing large numbers of Para athletes into Para sport that in the past may not have had this opportunity.”

Stephen Hills, was New Zealand’s first ever trike Para cyclist at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. Most recently he won 2 silver medals at last year’s edition of the UCI Para Cycling Road World Championships. However this year Stephen will want to go one better aiming to climb to the top of the podium and beat rival and world champion Hans-Peter Durst of Germany.

Sarah Ellington made her international debut at the last year’s edition of UCI Para Cycling Road World Championships. Her journey to international competition has been fast – she attended a ACC Paralympics New Zealand Open Day in Auckland during late2016. She was subsequently invited to a talent identification camp, selected to the Para Cycling Development Squad and represented New Zealand in August 2017 – all in less than a year. Most recently Sarah won 2 silver medals at the UCI Para Cycling Road World Cup in Belgium.

Waikato based Para cyclist Nicole Murray (Waikato) has been in the Para Cycling Programme for a number of years, competing at a variety of national competitions. She made her international debut in Rio de Janiero at the UCI Para Cycling Track World Championships. Nicole exceeded all expectations including her own, winning a silver medal and smashing many personal best times.

Former Wellingtonian hand cyclist, Rory Mead will make his international debut in the New Zealand Para Cycling Team in Italy. Based in the USA Rory was a national mountain bike champion and was competing in the sport he loved when he sustained a spinal cord injury. The World Championships will mark his international debut for New Zealand and provide Rory with the opportunity to see where he sits internationally.

Eltje Malzbender, will join Stephen Hills as the second trike Para cyclist in the team heading to Italy. A former national champion runner in her birth country of Germany, she will make her international debut after only coming into the Para Cycling Development Programme in July last year. Eltje initially turned to Para cycling as a form of rehabilitation following a road accident while out cycling in 2016 where she sustained a traumatic brain injury.

Further selection announcements may be made in the coming weeks.

The New Zealand Para Cycling Team includes:

 

Para cyclist

Classification

Impairment

Club

Resides

Stephen Hills

T2

Neurological (Right Side Hemiplegic)

New Plymouth

New Plymouth

Sarah Ellington

C3

Loss of muscle power (Incomplete paraplegia)

Auckland

Auckland

Nicole Murray

C5

Limb deficiency (left wrist amputee)

Waikato

Otorohanga

Rory Mead

H2

Loss of muscle Power - Quadriplegic (Spinal Cord Injury)

n/a

USA

Eltje Malzbender**

T1

Neurological Impairment (Traumatic Brain Injury)

Te Awamutu

Cambridg


** Note – confirmed selection subject to meeting New Zealand citizenship eligibility.


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