By Tom Degun

paralympics new zealand cyclingFebruary 25 - Paralympics New Zealand have staged a cycling talent identification camp at the Taranaki Cycle Park in New Plymouth as part of a search to find new athletes to join the programme ahead of Rio 2016.

Cycling proved one of New Zealand's most successful sports at London 2012 as they won four medals which consisted of a gold, a silver and two bronzes.

The outstanding performer was visually impaired rider Phillipa Gray, who alongside pilot Laura Thompson, took a gold, silver and bronze medal at the Games.

The country's other bronze medal was won by Fiona Southorn and Paralympic New Zealand is looking to build on their success in London 2012 by recruiting more talent ahead of Rio 2016.

"This camp highlights that para cycling is a sport that is a great option for a number of disabled athletes," said Paralympics New Zealand bike programme director Brendon Cameron.

"The identification of athletes through development camps such as this one are a key part of our build up to Rio."

The Taranaki Cycle Park, where the camp was staged, is a new facility that features an outdoor velodrome and enclosed road circuit.

There were 12 athletes invited to attend the camp and experience cycling.

It included coaching and advice, endurance testing, cycling sessions on the road and track, specialised para-cycling equipment, cycling with experienced pilots and key information and expectations on the Paralympics New Zealand cycling programme.

The camp was supported by ParaFed Taranaki and Halberg Disability Sport Foundation, who recruited four of the 12 invited athletes.

Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]