International cycling stars have been named as the finalists for the prestigious BikeNZ Road and Track Rider of the Year Awards announced today.
Jesse Sergent (Feilding), the 2010 Male Track Rider of the Year, has had his stunning 2011 season recognised by being named as a finalist for both the road and track riders of the year.
Sergent, second in the Individual Pursuit at the UCI Track World Championships, is also part of the BikeNZ Team Pursuit and is up against world silver medallist Shane Archbold (Timaru) and sprinter Simon van Velthooven (Palmerston North) for the honour.
Archbold rose to prominence during the 2010-2011 track season with his outstanding season culminating with a silver medal in the Omnium at the World Championships.
Van Velthooven made his mark on the world cup circuit with a gold medal in the Keirin and a bronze in the kilometre time trial at the Beijing Track World Cup.
Standout rider Alison Shanks (Dunedin) is an unsurprising finalist for the Female Track Rider of the Year award. Shanks topped off a fantastic track season with a silver medal in the individual pursuit at the UCI Track World Championships. Shanks is also the vital member of the women’s Team Pursuit team, leading them to world championship bronze. Other finalists for the title are fellow team pursuit member Jaime Nielsen (Hamilton) and Omnium rider Joanne Kiesanowski (Christchurch).
The Road Riders of the Year will come from the pool of New Zealand’s top professional riders.
International road veteran Julian Dean (Rotorua) has been named as a finalist for his spectacular ride at the Tour de France. He was an integral member of the Garmin-Cervelo team which won the team time trial and the overall teams classification.
Greg Henderson has a string of podium places supporting his nomination, including a stage win in both Paris-Nice and the Tour of Luxembourg. Sergent (RadioShack) secured himself a nomination for the road category after winning two tours in his first year in the professional ranks.
World time trial medallist Linda Villumsen (Auckland) is the headline name for the Female Road Rider of the Year Award. Villumsen won silver in the time trial at the UCI Road World Championships in Denmark this year, after bronze medals in this event in 2009 and 2010.
National women’s road race champion Catherine Cheatley (Wanganui) is another finalist along with her Colavita-Forno d’Asolo teammate Rushlee Buchanan (Te Awamutu).
Triple junior world medallist Stephanie McKenzie (Southland) is the favourite the Best Emerging Talent award. She won two silvers and a bronze medal in sprint events at the 2011 UCI Junior Track World Championships.
The other finalists are junior worlds silver medallists James Oram (Auckland) and Georgia Williams (Auckland).
The RaboDirect People’s Choice Award is determined by public vote with key cycling personalities Gordon McCauley, Eddie Dawkins and Archbold all finalists.
The BikeNZ Road and Track Rider of the Year Awards celebrate New Zealand’s international cycling success and are being presented at an awards function on January 6 in Christchurch. This is being held in conjunction with the 2012 RaboDirect Elite Road National Championships.
Male Track Rider of the Year:
Simon van Velthooven
Female Track Rider of the Year:
Male Road Rider of the Year:
Female Road Rider of the Year:
Best Emerging talent:
RaboDirect People’s Choice Award: