17-year-old Ben smashes NZ record at Track National Championships
Para cyclist Ben Westenberg has broken the New Zealand C5 Individual Pursuit record, recording 4.40.742 in the final and smashing the record by several seconds.
The Cycling New Zealand Track National Championships ran from 1-5 March in Invercargill. Five Para cyclists competed.
High Performance Development Squad Para cyclist Ben competed in the 4km Individual Pursuit final on Friday evening. As well as his record in that race, Ben showed he meant business at the Championships with a PB in the 1km Time Trial.
A student at Tauranga Boys College, Ben was born with arthrogryposis multiplex congenita, a rare congenital condition affecting the joints of his arms. He is in the competitive C5 sports class. He shared:
“I’m stoked. I wasn’t feeling 100% leading up to Nationals, and I really wasn’t sure how things were going to go. To ride personal best times in the Kilo and Individual Pursuit was way better than I was expecting!”
Paralympics New Zealand’s Para Sport Pathway Manager Dale MacDonald was at the event:
“Ben came into the Para cycling programme at 14 years old and has been progressing at a great rate of knots ever since. He has a fabulous attitude, and it was great to see all his hard work paying off with some slick times at the Cycling New Zealand Track National Championships.”
Another notable Para cycling performance was from Cameron Davies, who also took 2 seconds off his personal best in the C1-3 Men 3000m Individual Pursuit Final.
New Zealand’s Para cyclists now look towards the international stage, with some competing at the Oceania Road and Track Cycling Championships in Brisbane beginning at the end of March and then Para cycling road World Cups in Europe and the USA, culminating in the selection of a team to compete at the Para Cycling Road and Track World Championships in Glasgow, Scotland, in August.