25/02/2011 - Dunedin’s Alison Shanks bounced back from a hasty flight home from Europe to claim her fourth individual pursuit title on the opening night of finals at the RaboDirect New Zealand Track championships in Invercargill tonight.
Shanks disposed of her fellow World Cup winning team-mate Jaime Nielsen in the final, while Auckland’s Kaytee Boyd edged out Waikato’s Rushlee Buchanan for the bronze medal.
With the Manchester World Cup sprinters out of action today, Manawatu’s Simon Van Velthooven, a keirin specialist, cranked out an impressive 1:02.371 effort to win the 100m time trial. It was a personal best for the big sprinter, second only to national record holder and home town favourite Eddie Dawkins who was sidelined with injury from his crash in Manchester.
In other finals Southland-based Cantabrian Natasha Hansen won the 250m time trial in 20.289 edging out Otago’s Katie Scholfield while Southland’s Matt Archibald won the men’s final in 18.413, just ahead of Van Velthooven.
The Auckland pairing of Henrietta Mitchell and Vanessa Quin won the team sprint title over local Southland combination of Hansen and Emma Gibb in a slick 36.616.
Northland’s Fiona Southorn won the paracycling 500m time trial in 43.238 while Otago’s Chris Ross, a C5 athlete, was fastest in the men’s paracycling 1000m time trial in 1.13.911
Shanks, concentrating on the team pursuit this year, said it required a different mindset tonight in the individual pursuit.
“I’ve been concentrating almost entirely on the team pursuit all this year. Really the only thing similar between a team pursuit and the individual pursuit is that we race over 3kms,” Shanks said.
“In the team pursuit you have to give it everything with your turn on the front and then recover at the back. In the individual pursuit it is about spreading your effort across the whole ride.
“Having just come off the plane from Manchester at the start of the week I was sure how I would recover. I really wanted to go out this morning and focus on an even ride and it resulted in a good time. I did a 3:32 this morning and then managed to back up with a 3:31 tonight so I am really happy.
“Pursuiting is about technique as much as brute strength so it was good to nail that going into worlds.”
Shanks has the weekend off back home in Dunedin with the world championship camp begins in Invercargill in a week’s time.
Nielson, who went out too hard in the qualifying, had a strong performance with a 3:38 effort tonight. With Shanks an automatic selection, there is a real battle between Nielson, Boyd, Buchanan and Lauren Ellis for the final spots for the worlds
Results Day One:
Women’s 250m Time Trial, qualifying: Natasha Hansen (Southland) 20.289, 1; Katie Scholfield (Otago) 20.515, 2; Henrietta Mitchell (Auckland) 20.796, 3; Vanessa Quinn (Auckland) 21.822, 4. Final: Hansen 20.053 (NZ record) 1; Scholfield 20.329, 2; Mitchell 20.894,3.
Men’s 250mTime Trial, qualifying: Matt Archibald (Southland) 18.635, 1; Simon van Velthooven (East Coast North Island) 18.666, 2; Sean Fox (Southland) 18.895, 3; Elijah May (Canterbury) 18.968, 4. Final: Archibald 18.413, 1; van Velthooven 18.615, 2; Fox 18.715, 3.
Women’s 3000m Individual Pursuit, qualifying: Alison Shanks (Otago) 3.32.565, 1; Jaime Nielsen (Waikato Bay of Plenty) 3.41.399, 2; Kaytee Boyd (WBOP) 3.42.299, 3; Rushlee Buchanan (WBOP) 3.42.308, 4. Final: Shanks 3.31.017, 1; Nielsen 3.38.203, 2; Boyd 3.42.081, 3
Men's 1000m Time Trial final: Simon van Velthooven (WCNI) 1.02.371, 1; Cameron Karwowski (Southland) 1.04.421, 2; Tom Scully (Southland) 1.04.975, 3.
Women's Para-Cycling 500m Time Trial: Fiona Southorn (Northland) 43.238
Women's 500m Team Sprint qualifying: Auckland (Henrietta Mitchell, Vanessa Quinn) 36.715,1; Southland (Emma Gibb, Natasha Hansen) 37.268, 2; Wellington (Hayley Giddens, Hannah Latta) 38.987, 3.Final: Auckland 36.616, 1; Southland 37.406; Wellington 3.
Men’s Para-Cycling 1000m Time Trial: Chris Ross C5 (Otago) 1.13.911, silver; Stephen Hills C2 (WCNI) 1.24.517, bronze; Nathan Smith C3 (WCNI) 1.18.225, bronze;