South Canterbury hand cyclist Jono Nelson is eyeing up a top spot at club nationals next month.
Nelson recently competed in the Activ8 paracycling in Hamilton, which was part of the paralympic New Zealand three-wheel series, an event that has given him a good placing going into nationals.
“After round three, I became series leader in the hand cycle class because I got second in the time trial,” he said.
As a result, he will compete at the club nationals in Carterton in April as series leader, which carries double points, he said.
“Basically, for first place you get double the points than what you would usually get for winning.”
Following the nationals, Nelson will map out his next path to hand cycling glory.
“After nationals I’m going to re-evaluate where I’m at, with the possibility of some international races,” he said.
“There is some racing in America that I would like to do, but it comes down to funding.”
Nelson, who has spina bifida, trains six days a week on average and covers up to 300km a week, which includes hill work to build up strength.
His next event will be Le Race, a 100km event from Christchurch to Akaroa, which he will treat as a pre-nationals training event.
Nelson aims to knock 10 minutes off his previous time of 6hr 10min, a target he is confident he can achieve.
Travelling for competitions had become routine for Nelson, but had its challenges.
“It’s a bit of a mission, but I’ve just got used to it,” he said.
“The front wheel and back wheels come off and they go into a bag. For me to carry two bags and push my wheelchair is quite hard, but I like to be independent.”