Paralympic medallist gets high-tech bike for Wellington to Auckland challenge

Press Release – Ideas Shop
After winning medals riding a hefty man’s bike, New Zealand Paralympic champion cyclist Fiona Southorn will be going faster on a new state-of-the art cycle customised for her needs, gifted as part of her ambassador role for the 2014 BDO Wellington to Auckland Cycle Challenge.

“Over the years I have seen other elite athletes get lots of support, so I’m super excited to have BDO’s help and support with this bike and I can’t wait to race on it and show the world and my fellow supporters what it can do,” says Southorn.

The bike is a top-range $24,999 Pinarello Graal Timetrial bike that has been specifically customised by cycle retailer Kiwivelo to maximise her performance as a Paralympic athlete. With Southorn’s left arm slightly shorter than her right and no fingers on her left hand, function grip and breaking can be tricky.

But that won’t be a problem thanks to Kiwivelo which has installed the Shimano Dura Ace Electronics 22 speed componentry with electronic gear changing for both front and rear derailleurs by electronic pushbuttons located on one aerobar extension, and one brake level.

The brakes are also modified for Fiona’s needs, allowing just one lever to activate both the front and rear through the use of a 30/70 bias adjuster setup.

“My previous bike was too big and heavy. This bike is light weight and built for a small lady like myself. It’s going to allow me to be more competitive on the world stage.”

As BDO’s cycling ambassador, Southorn is again participating in the annual seven-day, 800km BDO Wellington to Auckland Cycle Challenge running from 9-15 February 2014 in aid of Multiple Sclerosis New Zealand (MSNZ). She’s also training for upcoming competitions including the Auckland/Waikato TT Champs, the NZ Nationals and World Champs in Greenville USA.

The bike was presented to Fiona at the 2014 BDO Wellington to Auckland Cycle Challenge Pre-Event Coaching session hosted by Kiwivelo evening by David O’Connor, Chairman of BDO New Zealand.

“BDO is thrilled to support Fiona Southorn by providing this this state of the art fully customised Pinorella bike for her time trial events.”

Southorn’s competitive and athletic prowess should be an inspiration to anyone with an urge to win, particularly as part of a team with the new BDO Cycle Challenge Corporate Team Challenge category. Next year, corporate teams will battle out for the grand prize of $100,000 worth of products and services to be donated to a charity of their choice.

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