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News posted on Tuesday 30th May, 2023

All-gold World Cup for Murray, and a triumphant return for Mead

Rory Mead in wheelchair, smiling in silver position on the podium

Para cyclist Nicole Murray is shocked and “stoked” to have completed an all-gold World Cup in Huntsville, Alabama. Nicole beat German rival and current C5 World Champion Kerstin Brachtendorf in both Time Trial and Road Race to claim two gold medals.

She shares her surprise at the result:

“Surprisingly, I managed gold in both the Time Trial and the Road Race. I say surprisingly because I got a cold on day one, when we landed here in the States. That knocked me out for a couple of days and then I had knee issues arise from having not enough time in the gym. It felt like putting out fires just to get on to the start line! I’m happy, I’m tired, I’m proud.”

Nicole is New Zealand Paralympian #222 and competes in the C5 sports class. A childhood accident led to a left hand amputation. Her bike is modified to allow her to compete.

The medals for the New Zealand Para Cycling Team didn’t end there. Paralympian handcyclist Rory Mead returned to international competition in style, seizing the bronze medal from a field of 9 handcyclists in the Time Trial. He followed up with an outstanding performance to claim silver in the Road Race. This was Rory’s first competition since Tokyo 2020 because of a shoulder injury – and his first ever medals.

He is thrilled with his performances:

“It’s incredible. I had no idea where I would stand after a year off. To be my first race back and on the podium – it’s a real boost.

“World Champs in August is coming up fast, but with two months to sharpen up a little on speed, I believe I can do really well. It feels great to be healthy and amongst the action again.”

Rory was a Motocross champion and was competing in the sport he loved when he sustained a spinal cord injury in 2014. He competes on a handcycle in the H2 sports class.

Paralympians Stevo HillsAnna Taylor and Sarah Ellington and Para athlete Devon Briggs also showed strong performances and good progression in Huntsville.

Coach Damian Wiseman explains how Road World Cup debutant Devon learned a lot from this event:

“This has given him an understanding of the demands of road racing at this level and the motivation to do as well on the road as he can on the track.”

Independent New Zealand Para cyclists Liz Gasson and Hannah Pascoe (and her pilot Sophie Williamson) also competed in Huntsville. Find their results below.

New Zealand results from Huntsville World Cup

Para athlete

Sports class

Time Trial

Road Race

Sarah Ellington

Women's C2



Anna Taylor

Women's C4



Nicole Murray

Women's C5



Devon Briggs

Men's C3



Stevo Hills

Men's T2



Rory Mead

Men's H2



Liz Gasson (independent athlete)

Women's C3



Hannah Pascoe and pilot Sophie Williamson (independent)

Women's BVI



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