Posted on Friday 13th September, 2019

New Zealand has a new World Champion, with Waikato’s Eltje Malzbender crowned the Women’s T1 Time Trial World Champion at the UCI Para Cycling World Championships in the Netherlands.

Malzbender started her race conservatively before building a solid lead over the two-lap race, increasing her advantage at every time check eventually finishing in 44 minutes 56.16 seconds, over one and a half minutes ahead of the silver medallist from Russia.

“It was fantastic, everything went to plan,“ said Malzbender.

“Riding with my home coach Blandy was good because he knows exactly what’s happening with me and whether I can go harder or not. So, he was riding behind me and shouted commands to me, so it was really cool,“ she added.

“I just love being outdoors and doing something physical, I like to exert myself, and to challenge myself a bit.“ Which she certainly did today.

Paralympics New Zealand Para Cycling Performance Head Coach Stuart McDonald said, “she’s over the moon, the team’s over the moon, and it was really good to see her standing on the top step and hearing the New Zealand National Anthem, it was really cool.“

Rory Mead who was riding in the Men’s H2 Time Trial rode a well-executed race to produce a personal best in a time of 36 minutes 27.07 seconds to finish 5th.

“Whatever I came today doesn’t really matter because I got a personal best, so you can’t ask for more than that,“ said Mead.

“It has been an up and down year for me, I was doing well at the start of the year but when racing came around I wasn’t really showing the effort that I put in in the off season, so to bounce back and pull out that (result) today, here at World Champs, is definitely a step forward for me and I’m really pumped,“ he added.

Mead, who resides in America, says he’s already looking forward to the road race later in the week. “I’m definitely getting close to the podium, that’s not out of the question – it’s been a great year. I’ve learnt a lot; I’ve had another year racing and getting the experience. The more I race the more I learn and if I can keep moving forward and making these little steps in the right direction, I think we will get there one day.“

Stephen Hills started strongly in the Men’s T2 Time Trial, but saw a number of his competitors accelerate through the final stages of what was a slightly congested course to finish in seventh, which will be great preparation for his favored event the men’s road race on Sunday (local time).

Read this article to know more about the New Zealand Para Cycling Team and the event detailed schedule.

Full wrap for DAY 1 available here.