Kiwi Para cyclist Stephen Hills wins second World Championships medal
Rio 2016 Paralympian and New Zealand’s only trike Para cyclist Stephen Hills, has once again shown his outstanding form by winning his second medal over night at the UCI Para Cycling Road World Championships in South Africa.
Hills backed up his bronze medal from Day one of the Championships with a silver in the Men’s T2 Road Race. The 30.4 kilometre course was raced over five laps and it all came down to a sprint finish with Hills being overtaken in the final metres by Hans-Peter Durst of Germany. This incredible finish meant Hills was a mere two seconds away from the gold medal.
Paralympian Stephen Hills said, “The first lap was really hard and there was a crash of a few riders that I had to avoid. I really put the work in and pressure on during the last few laps. I thought I had it on the finish line but Hans-Peter got me in the last 100 metres. This race has just made me hungry for more, I really want to bet him next time we meet and get that top spot on the podium.“
Stu MacDonald (Para Cycling Head Performance Coach, Paralympics New Zealand) said, “It was tough out there today, the course was technical and hilly. Stephen’s plan was always to stick with the leaders. Once he was with them, he simply got better and better.“
After the race, 59-year-old Durst acknowledged that Hills was by far the strongest rider on the road today. Durst has been riding since 1999 and will look forward to his next encounter with Hills at upcoming international competitions.
Hills made his Paralympic debut in Rio as New Zealand’s first ever trike competitor at a Paralympic Games. He has a neurological impairment – Right Side Hemiplegic. Outside of Para cycling, Hills enjoys working as a farm hand on the family farm in New Plymouth.
Tomorrow the final day of competition will see Rio 2016 Paralympian Fraser Sharp and Para cyclist Sarah Ellington in action in their respective Road Race events.