Rio 2016 Paralympians sizzle on the track at Southland Track Championships
Rio 2016 Paralympians Kate Horan, Amanda Cameron, Hannah van Kampen and Byron Raubenheimer were back in the velodrome today and despite some time out since the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, showed that they were still in outstanding form more than 12 months later.
They were joined at the Southland Track Championships by 8 other Para cyclists competing across various classifications in today’s Time Trial events. This UCI sanctioned event saw all Para cyclists aiming to meet nomination criteria for selection to the New Zealand Team that will compete at the 2018 UCI Para Cycling Track World Championships in Rio de Janeiro in March.
Two-time Paralympian Kate Horan said, “It felt great to be out on the track after 15 months away and I really enjoyed it. I had set a target, I wanted to ride a sub 40 and I did it. Coming into the race I really did not know how achievable this was as I haven’t had a lot of time on the bike this year, it’s been quite a disruptive year. So I was really pleased with how the ride went. This event was a stepping stone for me and it was great to be back in the team environment. I wanted to see how it felt to race again and it’s been a really great experience. Next up is the National Track Championships next year and then possibly the UCI Para Cycling Track World Championships in March back in Rio.“
The tandem pairing of Amanda Cameron (visually impaired Para cyclist) and Hannah van Kampen (sighted pilot) had a wonderful first race. Cameron said, “We have been doing a lot of training so it feels good to finally be back on the track and see where we are sitting. By racing a personal best time tonight it means we are tracking well and all the training we have done is paying off. We have so much to look forward to with the major events coming up next year.“
Van Kampen said, “We have not really focussed too much on the 1km Time Trial we raced tonight, so it was great to start the event off with a bang. We raced the same time we did at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games which is a PB for us so that is epic.“
Stu MacDonald (Para Cycling Head Performance Coach) said, “The first night of racing is now done with some fantastic performances put on the board from the Para cyclists here. I know how hard the riders have been training for this event so it is very rewarding to observe the riders execute some great performances tonight in the very hot SIT Velodrome.“ He continued, “With the Time Trial events, which are a priority event for some riders, done, the rest and recovery now begins before a quick turnaround and a move to the endurance focussed Individual Pursuit tomorrow, with another chance to develop their race experience and an opportunity to thrive in the hot and fast conditions.“