The New Zealand Para Cycling Team produced solid performances today at the UCI Para Cycling Road World Championships in Italy with 2 top 5 placings.
Stephen Hills returned to the technical course in Maniago to wrap up his World Championships campaign in the Men’s T2 Road Race.
Stephen Hills said: “It was really hard work out there today as I had to navigate a crash on the first lap that held me up. I then had to use all my energy to get back with the leading group. The heat was pretty extreme and I had to focus on making sure I was drinking enough to keep my energy levels up.”
Following the UCI Para Cycling Road World Championships Stephen will be heading to Canada with 2 other team members to compete in a World Cup event. He said: ”I’m really looking forward to my next event in Canada where the temperatures will not be as severe. I have learnt a lot about the other riders while racing in Italy that I will take this experience to the competition in Canada.”
Stu MacDonald (Head Para Cycling Coach) said: “This has been a day where Stephen, Rory and Eljte have learnt a huge amount. The challenges of a technical course coupled with the heat has meant the team have had to adapt to conditions that they are not normally accustomed to in New Zealand.”
He continued: “Both Stephen and Rory did well today to stay in touch with the lead groups in their respective races producing gutsy performances. Although Eltje had some technically difficulties she is gaining great experience from being at her first World Championships.”
Yesterday (day 2) saw the Team finish with 5 top 10 placings. A highlight was seeing Rio 2016 Paralympian Emma Foy back on the bike with her new pilot Nina Wollaston after only returning to training in April. The tandem pairing crossed the finish line in 5th, only 25 seconds behind the bronze medal winning Polish tandem.
Emma Foy said: “"This was our first race together on the tandem so we went into the race wanting to learn as much as we could about how we ride together. This was Nina's first time trial race on the tandem so a great experience. For me this was my first race back after a long break off the bike. Overall we were just looking for a really solid ride and to come 5th is pretty amazing."
The final day of racing for the New Zealand will see the two tandems (Emma Foy/Nina Wollaston and Amanda Cameron/Hannah van Kampen) along with Nicole Murray and Sarah Ellington compete in the road race events.
Live streaming is available http://www.maniago2018.it/media/live/