Stand out Para cycling performances in Road Cycling National Championships
Para cyclists descended on the West Coast last weekend for the New Zealand Age Group Road Cycling National Championships in Hokitika.
Time Trial performances
After stormy weather disrupted arrivals, a calm day on Friday (22 April 2022) provided ideal conditions for riders for the Road Time Trial.
Stand out Time Trial performances included Southland’s Hannah Pascoe, piloted by fellow Southlander and multiple World Champion and Paralympic medallist-turned-coach, Laura Thompson. The duo won the 25km B/V1 (Tandem) Time Trial competition outright from a competitive tandem field.
New trike rider Canterbury’s Jordan Milroy, competing in his first road competition, gave a stellar performance. Northland’s Steve Knott (Marsden Wheelers) had a strong performance in the C1-5 Men’s competition, as did Tokyo Paralympian Sarah Ellington in the C1-3 Women’s 17km race. Hand cyclists Jono Nelson from South Canterbury and Tiffiney Perry from Morrinsville Wheelers battled closely for honours in the H1-5 17km Time Trial. Nelson eventually prevailed, adding another National title to his palmarès.
Tandem and Cycle Class road races
On Saturday (23 April 2022) Steve Knott again rode strongly on a splendid West Coast day to cross the line first in the C1-5 Road Race, but the factoring of results saw in-form Sarah Ellington take the gold medal. (Factored events include athletes from different classes, where riders’ times are scaled in order to take into account the severity of each competitor’s impairment(s).) Knott took 2nd place and Wellington’s Elizabeth Gasson came 3rd.
The BVI (tandem) road race was a thrilling watch on the scenic but deceptively tough course. The up-and-coming tandem pairing of Kyren Andrew and Kurt Coetzee (Marsden Wheelers) crossed the line first, but factoring of results meant they conceded gold to Morrinsville Wheeler’s Unity Collins and Vicki Fleming, who rode brilliantly. Fellow Morrinsville Wheeler’s Steve Donelley and Mark Fleming were second across the line. They rounded out the podium with a bronze after factoring, continuing with their consistent form of recent years.
Hand cycle and trike road races
Sunday (24 April 2022) saw another good battle between Jono Nelson and Tiffiney Perry in the H1-5 race, with both riders pushing to the limit. Nelson preceded to take the gold.
Jordon Milroy rounded out the weekend with a gutsy performance over 21km to round out a great weekend.
2022 Road Cycling Nationals factored race results
Thank you to Cycling New Zealand and the Hokitika Cycling Club for delivering a great event. And thank you to the Commissaires and other volunteers, team managers, families and supporters who made the weekend a success.
About classification in Para cycling
- Classification groups Para cyclists with an eligible impairment into sports classes, 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, while 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.
- Para cyclists who have a visual impairment race on a tandem bicycle with a sighted cyclist (pilot) at the front. They cycle in the sports class B. This class will include athletes with a range of visual impairment from a low visual acuity (less than 6/60) and/or a visual field of less than 20 degrees through to athletes with no vision.
- There are five different sport classes for handcycle racing. The lower numbers indicate a more severe activity limitation. Para athletes competing in the H1 classes have a complete loss of trunk and leg function and limited arm function, e.g. as a result of a spinal cord injury. Para athletes in the H4 class have limited or no leg function, but good trunk and arm function. Para cyclists in sport classes H1 – 4 compete in a reclined position. Para cyclists in the H5 sport class sit on their knees because they are able to use their arms and trunk to accelerate the handcycle. Para athletes in this sport class might have leg amputations, paraplegia or mild to moderate involuntary and uncoordinated movements.
- Para athletes who ride a tricycle are unable to ride a bicycle safely due to impairment affecting their balance and coordination. They are divided into two classes, T1 and T2. The sport class T1 is allocated to athletes with more significant balance and co-ordination impairments and problems controlling movements than athletes competing in sport class T2.