Day 1: Silver start for Eltje in Cycling World Championships
It was a thrilling start to the road Para cycling for the Kiwis with a sterling silver performance from Paralympian #220 Eltje Malzbender. In the T1 tricycle class, the 61-year-old rode strongly to take the silver medal behind the Czech Republic’s Pavlina Vejvodova. Her long-time rival Shelley Gaultier from Canada placed 3rd.
Malzbender lives with a traumatic brain injury (TBI). She wasn’t expected to survive after a road traffic accident. The Paralympian’s TBI means she has challenges with many aspects of mobility and life. What hasn’t changed since the accident is her resolve and extraordinary work-ethic.
Malzbender, along with teammates Rory Mead and Stevo Hills, joined the rest of the Para Cycling Team in Dumfries and Galloway for the road racing. The roads in this region of southern Scotland are similar to the Waikato roads which some team members use for training. It will set them in good stead for the racing.
Coach Damian Wiseman explains:
“This course will be tough and the roads are rough and very much like home. It will suit our riders and in particular Nicole (Murray) will love it and feed off this.”
Paralympian #222 Nicole Murray races the Time Trial tomorrow, along with the other cyclists who also competed on the track. In the Huntsville Road World Cup in May, Murray won gold medals in both races. Her C5 competitors will be watching out for her in the racing here.
Huntsville was also a special occasion for Paralympian #221 Rory Mead, who is a handcyclist. Mead returned to competition for the first time since Tokyo 2020, following a shoulder injury. It was a triumphant return, with Mead winning silver and bronze at the event. In the H2 Individual Time Trial today, Mead shows he means business, placing 4th.
Taranaki’s Stevo Hills is a tricycle rider like Malzbender. In the Individual Time Trial today, the Paralympian placed 9th in a competitive T2 field.
Looking ahead to Day 2 of road Para cycling
Day 2 will see Individual Time Trials for the remaining 6 members of the team. These 6 have come from the track Para cycling in Glasgow. Racing for the Kiwis begins with Devon Briggs at 9pm NZST and runs through to 4am with Anna Taylor.
See the schedule of when the New Zealanders compete. Livestreaming is available for some events, and links to the livestreams are provided on the schedule.
|Stevo Hills||Individual Time Trial – 11.5 km x 1 lap||9th +1:07.13||MT2|
|Rory Mead||Individual Time Trial – 11.5 km x 1 lap||4th +3:20.72||MH2|
|Eltje Malzbender||Individual Time Trial – 11.5 km x 1 lap||Silver +2:10.70||WT1|
|Devon Briggs||Individual Time Trial – 16.9 km x 1 lap||18th +3:27.05||MC3|
|Sarah Ellington||Individual Time Trial – 16.9 km x 1 lap||6th +2:22.32||WC2|
|Nick Blincoe||Individual Time Trial – 28.1 km x 1 lap||22nd +7:55.84||MC4|
|Nicole Murray||Individual Time Trial – 28.1 km x 1 lap||6th +3:53.88||WC5|
|Anna Taylor||Individual Time Trial – 28.1 km x 1 lap||10th +6:52.09||WC4|
|Stevo Hills||Individual Road Race – 15.5 km x 2 laps 31.0 km||9th +0.27||MT2|
|Eltje Malzbender||Individual Road Race – 15.5 km x 2 laps 31.0 km||Silver +6:55||WT1|
|Rory Mead||Individual Road Race – 15.5 km x 3 laps 46.5 km||5th +16:16||MH2|
|Nick Blincoe||Individual Road Race – 15.5 km x 6 laps 93.0 km||17th +21:16||MC4|
|Devon Briggs||Individual Road Race – 15.5 km x 4 laps 62.0 km||18th +14:13||MC3|
|Nicole Murray||Individual Road Race – 15.5 km x 5 laps 77.5 km||5th +1:36||WC5|
|Anna Taylor||Individual Road Race – 15.5 km x 5 laps 77.5 km||DNF||WC4|
|Sarah Ellington||Individual Road Race – 15.5 km x 4 laps 62.0 km||11th +19:17||WC2|
What do the classifications mean in Para cycling?
Classification groups Para cyclists with an eligible impairment into sports classes, according to how much their impairment affects their ability to carry out the fundamental activities in their sport.
- Para athletes who are able to use a standard bicycle (with approved adaptations) compete in the five sport classes C1-5, Sport class C1 is allocated to athletes with the most severe activity limitation, while the sport class C5 is allocated to athletes with minimum impairments. The C1-5 sport classes include athletes with limb deficiency, impaired muscle power or range of motion and impairments affecting co-ordination, such as uncoordinated movements and involuntary movements.
- Para cyclists who have a visual impairment race on a tandem bicycle with a sighted cyclist (pilot) at the front. They cycle in the sports class B. This class will include athletes with a range of visual impairment from a low visual acuity (less than 6/60) and/or a visual field of less than 20 degrees through to athletes with no vision.
- Para athletes who ride a tricycle are unable to ride a bicycle safely due to impairment affecting their balance and coordination. They are divided into two classes, T1 and T2. The sport class T1 is allocated to athletes with more significant balance and co-ordination impairments and problems controlling movements than athletes competing in sport class T2.
- There are five different sport classes for handcycle racing. The lower numbers indicate a more severe activity limitation. Para athletes competing in the H1 classes have a complete loss of trunk and leg function and limited arm function, e.g. as a result of a spinal cord injury. Para athletes in the H4 class have limited or no leg function, but good trunk and arm function. Para cyclists in sport classes H1 – 4 compete in a reclined position. Para cyclists in the H5 sport class sit on their knees because they are able to use their arms and trunk to accelerate the handcycle. Para athletes in this sport class might have leg amputations, paraplegia or mild to moderate involuntary and uncoordinated movements.
About the World Championships
The UCI Cycling World Championships have been dubbed the ‘Super Worlds’ as they bring together 13 different World Championships in various cycling disciplines into one massive event in Glasgow, Scotland. The Para cyclists first competed in track events, and now contest road events from Wednesday 9th August through to Sunday 13th August.