Silver lining to Devon’s golds 

Devon Briggs’s outstanding performance in Brisbane netted him four gold medals. 

A superb performance in Brisbane last week by Waipā Para cyclist Devon Briggs has led to his selection with four others to compete at October’s 2022 UCI Para Cycling Track World Championships in France.

At 18, Briggs is the youngest member of the team, and the world championships will be his international debut.

Paralympics New Zealand (PNZ) named the New Zealand Para Cycling team for France last weekend.  Three Tokyo 2020 Paralympians are included – Nicole Murray, Anna Taylor and Sarah Ellington – with the rest of the team comprising Nick Blincoe and Devon Briggs.

Murray, Ellington and Briggs competed in the Oceania Track Cycling Championships in Brisbane, where Briggs won four gold medals,

Murray won two golds, and Ellington won a silver and a bronze.

Briggs told The News that his win in Brisbane had surpassed his wildest hopes, although he had been training “like a demon”.   The C4 classified Para athlete, who was born with severe club feet, won gold in the scratch race, the 1000m time trial, the 4000m individual pursuit, and the omnium.  Also racing were Connor Douglas and Ben Westenburg.

“It went a lot better than I thought it would.  Realistically, I was happy to just go over and enjoy the racing … I was blown away when I pulled out those results.  That training really paid off.”

Briggs started a business degree at Waikato University in January and works part-time in Cambridge.  He has been cycling since he was 10, toughing it out against years of painful surgeries and finding cycling the only non-impact sport he could safely enjoy.

While Brisbane ranks as a massive achievement, he isn’t entirely new to success. Briggs won the Para cycling Emerging Talent award in the 2020 Cycling New Zealand Road and Track Recognition Awards, and it was his performance at December’s Southland Track Championships that earned him a place in Brisbane.

Devon in Birsbane

Even before his success in Australia, Briggs had his eye on something even bigger – competing in the 2024 Paralympics in Paris.

“It’s going to be a lot of hard training, a tough road … but I’m ready for it,” he said.

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