Posted on Thursday 3rd August, 2023

The 2023 Cycling World Championships have gotten off to a flying start for the New Zealand Para Cycling Team. Paralympians Nicole Murray and Anna Taylor, and Para athlete Devon Briggs sped through Individual Pursuit qualification to earn places in the finals.

Meanwhile 18-year-old debutant Ben Westenberg delivered a massive PB to finish 5th in his first ever World Championships race. Westenberg, who was born with arthrogryposis, is in the C4 class. He is in Year 12 at Tauranga Boys College.

Para Cycling Programme Manager Brendon Cameron feels the young talent bodes well for Para cycling in New Zealand:

“I’m really impressed with the talent that Ben and Devon are demonstrating. They are aged just 18 and 19 respectively. To have them both in the top 5 in the world at this young age bodes well for the future of Para cycling.”

Paralympian #222 Nicole Murray started the action with the 3km Individual Pursuit. This qualified the 2022 track world champion for the gold medal ride, with a time of 3:40.946, +3.325 after France’s Heidi Gaugain in first place. Murray is a left-hand amputee following a childhood accident and competes in the highly contested C5 classification.

Murray is loving the atmosphere at Glasgow 2023 so far:

“There’s a real buzz about this huge ‘Super Worlds’, it’s great to be here training and competing alongside the able-bodied New Zealand Cycling Team. This is the first time every discipline of cycling has their world champs at the same time and place. Para cycling being included is great for the progression of our sport and recognition of Para athletes.

“Winning the rainbow jersey in last year’s World Championships was such a rush, it was a really incredible moment that I will never forget. I can’t wait to get out there and see what I can bring home for New Zealand this year!”

Paralympian #225 Anna Taylor hit out with a time of 3:48.545 for the same event in the C4 class. She finished +7.713 behind first place. It was a personal best effort for the Cambridge native. Her third placing earned her qualification for the bronze final. Previously an accomplished rower, Taylor received a C4 classification after Acute Cauda Equina Syndrome (compression of the nerve roots in the spine).

Para athlete Devon Briggs also qualified for the bronze final in the C3 classification. He placed 4th, +7.416 behind first place. The Cambridge Para cyclist was up first in his class and had a tense wait watching his peers compete. Initially he felt he had emptied the tank too soon:

“That was the hardest Pursuit I’ve done. Ever. It was good, it’s all learning, I’ll take away from that that I need to be relaxed and calm going into the race. Next up is the scratch race, so we’ll try to play that really smart and just ride a good race.”

The schedule for day 1 also saw the remainder of the 6 track Para cyclists compete in Individual Pursuit qualifiers. They delivered strong rides all round. Paralympian #213 Sarah Ellington was just shy of a personal best, finishing 5th in the C2 qualifier. Nick Blincoe placed 22nd in the C4 race.

About the 2023 World Championships

The UCI Cycling World Championships have been dubbed the ‘Super Worlds’. They bring together 13 different World Championships in various cycling disciplines into one massive event in Glasgow, Scotland. The Para cyclists will compete in track events until next Tuesday 8th August, and then contest road events from Wednesday 9th August through to Sunday 13th August.

Day 2 will see Ben Westenberg, Nick Blincoe and Nicole Murray compete. New Zealand’s best medal prospect will be Nicole Murray competing in the 500m Time Trial (finals 5.13am Friday).

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.


AthleteEventResultSports Class

Day 1

Nicole Murray3Km Individual Pursuit Qualifying2nd (qualified for gold final) +3.325 + PBWC5
Anna Taylor3Km Individual Pursuit Qualifying3rd (qualified for bronze final) +7.713 + PBWC4
Sarah Ellington3Km Individual Pursuit Qualifying5th +22.023WC2
Ben Westenberg4Km Individual Pursuit Qualifying5th +7.016 + PBMC4
Nick Blincoe4Km Individual Pursuit Qualifying22nd +37.730MC4
Devon Briggs3Km Individual Pursuit Qualifying4th (qualified for bronze final) +7.416MC3

Day 2

Nicole Murray500m Time Trial Qualifying3rd +0.998WC5
Ben Westenberg200m FS Time Trial 4th +0.962MC4
Nick Blincoe200m FS Time Trial 7th +1.232MC4
Nicole Murray500m Time Trial Finals Bronze +0.639WC5

Day 3

Sarah Ellington200m FS Time Trial 9thWC2
Devon BriggsKilometre Time Trial Qualifying2nd (qualified for final)MC3
Nick BlincoeKilometre Time Trial Qualifying15th +6.901MC4
Ben WestenbergKilometre Time Trial Qualifying9th +4.833MC4
Devon BriggsKilometre Time Trial Finals Bronze +0.644MC3
Anna Taylor10Km Scratch Final4thWC4

Day 4

Nicole Murray200m FS Time Trial 4thWC5
Nicole Murray3Km Individual Pursuit Finals Silver WC5
Devon Briggs15Km Scratch Finals BronzeMC3

Day 5

Sarah Ellington500m Time Trial Qualifying9thWC2
Devon Briggs200m FS Time Trial1st (non-medal event)MC3
Anna Taylor500m Time Trial Qualifying5th +3.092WC4
Nick Blincoe15Km Scratch Finals20thMC4
Ben Westenberg15Km Scratch Finals SilverMC4
Anna Taylor500m Time Trial Finals4th +2.604WC4
Devon Briggs3Km Individual Finals BronzeMC3

Day 6

Anna Taylor200m FS Time Trial 2nd (non-medal event)WC4
Anna Taylor3Km Individual Pursuit Finals4thWC4
Nicole Murray10Km Scratch Finals4thWC5

Day 7

TBCTeam Sprint Qualifying9thM/WC1-5
Sarah Ellington10Km Scratch Finals8thWC2


Ben WestenbergOmnium BronzeC4
Nick BlincoeOmnium11thC4
Devon BriggsOmnium BronzeC3
Anna TaylorOmnium GoldC4
Sarah EllingtonOmnium7thC2
Nicole MurrayOmnium GoldC5

What do the classifications mean in Para cycling?

  • Classification groups Para cyclists with an eligible impairment into sports classes. They do this 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. 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.