The name Ryan Christensen is one that is already well known in domestic cycling circles, but we decided to find out a bit more about the New Zealand Cycle Classic King of the Mountains. Here is wha you need to know about the man who rides for Oliver’s Real Food Racing.
The journey on two wheels for Ryan began in tragic but heart-warming circumstances. The tragedy was a terrible car crash that involved Ryan’s sister, leaving her with a broken neck. Being the supportive brother though, Ryan decided to jump on her spare road bike and help her with the recovery process. “To help with her rehabilitation I jumped on her spare road bike and started riding with her. Since then I never looked back,” Ryan told RoadCycling. Since then the bulk of Ryan’s experience has been gained racing with the Hamilton City Cycling Club as well as from junior tours around New Zealand.
Since beginning to ride in earnest there have been several people who have helped Ryan on the journey towards where he finds himself now. “Firstly Mum and Dad for their never ending support, my coach Dylan Stewart from training wheels who’s helped me get to where I am today and finally my sponsors Speedworks, Oliver’s Real Food Racing and Power2max,” Ryan said. As any cyclist knows, success is not just one person’s efforts on a bike, but the several cogs that are at work in the background in the form of a support crew.
This year Ryan hopes to be able to take his already impressive form abroad and convert that into top results at an international level; not just for him but for his Oliver’s Real Food Racing team as well. “I’m hoping the 2016 season is going to be a great year for Oliver’s Real Food Racing and myself,” Ryan said. “We have more starts in overseas UCI Races which will bring experience to our riders and as a team we are intending to race aggressively but smart to gain more podiums looking for more GC results and hopefully a win or 2.”
But beyond the results and the podiums, there are three things that stick out as things that Ryan just loves about being on two wheels day after day. “[I love] getting away from everything, pushing myself and discovering new limits; and the places [cycling] takes me,” he told us.
Looking down the line Ryan has no intention of leaving the sport that has given him so much, and that he has poured so much into. “Ultimately I would like to be able to make a living from the sport that I love whilst hopefully traveling the world with a great support crew,” he said.
But for now that journey starts here with a little break between big events before heading to Malaysia. “The start of the year is pretty quiet until March where I will be racing in Malaysia with Oliver’s Real Food Racing and then heading back to Australia for the National Road Series opener in Perth,” Ryan said. “From there it’ll be pretty full on with the NRS races NZ domestic races and tours over in Tahiti and New Caledonia for now.”