Two-time Paralympian Kate Horan and Para cyclist Sarah Ellington have started the New Zealand Para Cycling Team campaign at the 2019 UCI Para Cycling Track World Championships in the Netherlands in great form winning a bronze medal each in the Women’s 500m Time Trial C4 and Women’s 3km Individual Pursuit C2 respectively.
Sarah Ellington said: “This was my second UCI Para Cycling Track World Championships and my first ever medal. Prior to going into the final I was not too sure as I had not ever been in a final before. I spent time with my coach Stu MacDonald and simply, the plan was not to get caught! After my first World Championships in 2018 I made some changes, the biggest being more time in the velodrome and on the track. I think this has made a huge difference and I’m thrilled with the result.”
Fellow World Championships bronze medallist Kate Horan was joined by Rio 2016 Paralympic gold and bronze medallist in Para swimming Nikita Howarth and international debutant Anna Taylor in the Women’s 500m Time Trial C4, a strong line up of kiwi riders. The trio crossed the finish line with less than 2 seconds between them.
International debutant Anna Taylor placed 7th in the event and relished every moment on the international stage. She said, “The energy was electric out there and I loved every second of it. This was not a targeted event for me but a great way to start the World Championships and get a feel for the velodrome. I have the day off tomorrow with the individual pursuit event on Sunday (NZT) so I will be resting up and keeping off my feet. I fatigue quite quickly from walking around so doing as little as possible is my aim. I’ll also be working hard on my assignment tomorrow and hitting the books as I’m studying a Masters in Sport Management.”
Prior to sustaining a spinal cord injury Anna was a rower who competed in New Zealand and the United States. She said, “Rowing is probably fairly similar to the individual pursuit in that you have to have an aggressive start then settle on a pace before you can build towards the end. So that’s my aim for the pursuit event.”
Aucklander Nick Blincoe competed at his second edition of the UCI Para Cycling Track World Championships today in the Men’s 1km Time Trial C4. He produced an outstanding ride placing 6th and setting a national record in a personal best time of 01:09.386.
Stu MacDonald (Para Cycling Head Performance Coach) said: “This was a great start to the World Championships for the team with 5 riders competing in the time trial event and the individual pursuit for Sarah Ellington resulting in 2 bronze medals. This was the first time Sarah has won a World Championships medal so a real milestone for her. She built and adapted her earlier qualification ride which produced a great medal winning performance in the final. Kate Horan brings a lot of experience to the team and although the 500m Time Trial is not her focus event she loves sprint events. Nick Blincoe’s performance was also a highlight for me setting a national record, personal best and top 6 finish. The team will now rest up in preparation for the Women’s tandems and Sarah Ellington competing tomorrow.”