Waipa¯ cy­clists in Para worlds team

Waipa Post - - The Country -

Waipa¯ cy­clists Ni­cole Mur­ray and Eltje Malzben­der will rep­re­sent New Zealand at the 2018 UCI Para Cy­cling Road World Cham­pi­onships in Ma­ni­ago, Italy from July 2-5.

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

Mur­ray 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, ex­ceed­ing all ex­pec­ta­tions in­clud­ing her own, win­ning a sil­ver medal and smash­ing many per­sonal best times.

Malzben­der will join 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.

Hills was New Zealand’s first ever trike Para cy­clist at the Rio 2016 Par­a­lympic Games. Most re­cently he won two 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.

“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,” said PNZ Para Cy­cling head per­for­mance coach, Stu MacDon­ald.

“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.”

PNZ high per­for­mance di­rec­tor Mal­colm Humm 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.”

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TRIKE Para cy­clist Eltje Malzben­der in ac­tion at a re­cent Para Cy­cling train­ing camp.

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SIL­VER medal­list Ni­cole Mur­ray (left) on the podium at the 2018 UCI Para Cy­cling Track World Cham­pi­onships in Rio de Janiero.

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