Date: Monday, 06 August 2012
Posted by: Cycling Southland

Natasha Hansen wins her Olympic repechageNatasha Hansen ended her Olympic debut with a 12th place finish in the Women's Sprint at the London Velodrome this morning.

After qualifying in ninth position with an 11.241 she drew Lyubov Shulika in the Round of 16. She was unable to get past the Ukraine rider so she dropped in to the 1/16 repechage against a Columbian and Russian. Hansen sat on the wheel of the Columbian and then had the top line speed to go around her down the back straight for the final time and hold off any challenges in the race to the line to qualify for the 1/8 finals.

She was beaten by half a length by China's Shuang Guo and then found herself swamped in the 1/8 Repechage of Belarussian Olga Panarina to end her campaign.

The Southlander earned high praise for her composure in her first appearance at world sport's pinnacle event and showed what will be possible from the burgeoning BikeNZ Women's Sprint programme as it moves in to the next Olympic cycle with an eye on Rio in 2016.

Elsewhere in action overnight, New Zealand's Shane Archbold had to be content with seventh in the Men's Omnium. He suffered an unliucky puncture two kilometres in to his Individual Pursuit meaning that he had to restart and ride a total of six kilometres in a very short space of time, but he gutsed it out to ride a 4:26 to finish 6th. His medal hopes were dashed in the scratch race where he finished a lap down on the leaders to take 13th and ended with a solid 1:03 in the Kilo to claim sixth in his final event and seventh overall.

Denmark's Lasse Norman Hansen took gold from France's Bryan Coquard with Great Britain's Ed Clancy getting up for the bronze on the back of an incredible 1:00.981 time trial.

The Men's Sprint also progressed to the semifinal stage with Great Britain's Jason Kenny, France's Gregory Bauge, Australia's Shane Perkins and the surprise package of the event Njisane Nicholas Phillip of Trinidad and Tobago all qualifying to fight it out for the medals tomorrow.

Action continues Tuesday morning from 3am with the ciulmination of the Men's Sprint, Quarter finals of the Women's Sprint and the start of the Women's Omnium featuring New Zealand's Jo Kiesanowski who will be the ninth rider to line up in the opening event, the Flying Lap at approximately 3:20am tomorrow (Tuesday) morning.

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