ACG Pathways Maths teacher Benny van der Griend was in good company when he won a gold medal in the 30km Criterium at the Asia Pacific Master Games in Penang, Malaysia.
Mayor of Penang, Dato’ Ar. Yew Tung Seang, a keen cyclist, was also competing in the event.
Mr van der Griend was sponsored by ACG to attend the event. He beat 39 other riders to take out both the 55-60 age group and the combined 50+ age group.
Despite wet roads from a downpour an hour before the race, he took the lead three quarters through the race.
“With four laps to go, I attacked as we were coming through lapped riders. I managed to get a 30 second lead and held it to the finish,” he said.
At the end of the race, the Mayor presented Mr van der Griend his medals and asked him to display his cycling shirt for a photo. The photo, bearing the ACG Education logo, was later seen on the official Mayoral Facebook page and website page of Penang.
Mr van der Griend, who has been with ACG since 2003, and travels and competes around New Zealand and abroad, also finished second in the Mountain Biking event and won the 69km road race for both his age group and combined age groups.
His highlight, he said, was the comradery of fellow cyclists and the hospitality of the Malaysians.
Mr van der Griend teaches Maths at ACG Pathways. He said he enjoys teaching students who come from all over the world and are keen to learn.