First taste of international competition for Kiwi Para cyclists at Oceania Championships
- Seven Para cyclists from New Zealand competed at the Oceania Cycling Championships.
- Four of the Para cyclists, Siobhan Terry, Ieuan Edwards, Jordon Milroy and Kyren Andrew, made their international debut.
- The Para cyclists performed well in tough conditions bringing home 9 medals.
Para cyclist Siobhan Terry from Rotorua had a brilliant first international competition at the 2023 Oceania Track Cycling Championships, claiming bronze in the WC4 500m Time Trial and posting two personal best times.
The Track Championships were held in Brisbane from 24 – 28 March. Over the 5-day event, the New Zealand team of 3 Para cyclists competed and performed with distinction across 10 races.
For Siobhan Terry and Ieuan Edwards, it was their first time competing internationally. Both relished the opportunity to compete against new competition, posting personal best times in the Individual Pursuit and Time Trial races.
Team manager for the event, Kerry Reyburn, shared:
“The 2023 Oceania track championships have been a valuable learning experience for all our team members involved. From how to prepare, equipment needed, and dealing with the unexpected. Our riders all came away with medals from an Oceania gold to bronze and, of course, a lot of PBs. The support from fellow NZ Southland and Canterbury teams and, of course, the Cycling NZ team just added to the amazing experience and success of riders involved.”
In Siobhan’s first race, the 3000m Individual Pursuit qualification, she snared a huge 14-second personal best time. This performance gave her confidence leading into the 500m Time Trial qualification, where she achieved another personal best and then won the bronze medal in the final.
“Going into it, I didn’t have the highest of expectations. It was a big learning opportunity and a great chance to see what it is like to compete overseas. I knew I was quite new coming into this and up against some amazing athletes. So, the goal was to do well in each of my events against my own times and make the most of every moment.”
Siobhan’s coach Jack Cooper was impressed with her performance, saying:
“Although Siobhan is very new to the sport, in these results from her first international championship she is showing a lot of promise.”
Ieuan Edwards (Christchurch) and Connor Douglas (Invercargill) also recorded notable performances, winning gold and silver in the Men’s C5 4000m Individual Pursuit, respectively. Ieuan posted a 6-second PB in the qualifier and further reduced that by another second in the final. Connor also won bronze in the Men’s C5 1000m Time Trial.
Despite medal-winning performances, this campaign has been particularly challenging for some New Zealanders. Firstly, Ieuan Edwards crashed in the scratch race, coming away with grazing and breaking his bike. Then the Oceania Road Championships held in Brisbane from 29 March – 1 April proved particularly challenging. The course was very hilly and especially difficult for some classifications, with some riders choosing not to compete in the Road Race for safety reasons. A part on Kyren Andrew’s tandem bike broke, and he and his pilot Kerry Reyburn couldn’t finish the road race. Despite that, the Para cyclists made the best of it, showing their resilience, and those who were able to compete performed well in tough conditions.
Jono Nelson from Timaru won gold in the Road Race and silver in the Time Trial. He commented:
“I enjoyed racing again on the international stage after being unable to compete outside NZ since 2019. It has now made me even more motivated. Key things to work on for me is that I need to get my confidence back on the downhills since crashing last year. I am really happy with how the Road Race went as it was particularly challenging.”
There were medals all around in the Time Trial as Jordon Milroy from Christchurch struck gold on his international debut, Whangarei’s Kyren Andrew’s first overseas performance saw him win bronze, and Tiffiney Perry from Hamilton raced to silver.
The next international appearance for New Zealand Para cyclists will see the Para Cycling High Performance Squad and 7 independent athletes compete in the Road Para Cycling World Cup Series starting in Italy on April 20th.
New Zealand Results
2023 Oceania Track Cycling Championships
|Connor Douglas||4000m Individual Pursuit (C5)||Silver|
|Connor Douglas||1000m Time Trial (C5)||Bronze|
|Connor Douglas||15km Scratch Race (C5)||7th|
|Ieuan Edwards||4000m Individual Pursuit (C5)||Gold|
|Ieuan Edwards||1000m Time Trial (C5)||5th|
|Ieuan Edwards||15km Scratch Race (C5)||9th (DNF)|
|Siobhan Terry||3000m Individual Pursuit Final (C4)||4th|
|Siobhan Terry||500m Time Trial (C4)||Bronze|
|Siobhan Terry||10km Scratch Race (C4)||4th|
2023 Oceania Road Cycling Championships
|Jono Nelson||Road Race (H4)||Gold|
|Jono Nelson||Time Trial (H4)||Silver|
|Jordon Milroy||Time Trial (T1)||Gold|
|Kyren Andrew||Time Trial (BVI tandem)||Bronze|
|Tiffiney Perry||Time Trial (H3)||Silver|