28/02/2011 - Southland’s Natasha Hansen is the fastest girl on wheels after a dominant display at the RaboDirect New Zealand track cycling championships that finished in Invercargill tonight.
Hansen, formerly from Christchurch but now based in Invercargill, won all four sprint events, setting two new national records in the process.
The 21-year-old air traffic controller trainee reckons she can plot a path to next year’s London Olympics after rejuvenating her cycling career last year.
Hansen hung up her bike last year after losing her love for the sport but was empted back by Southland coach Gerard Stock. She made the commitment and managed to get a placement at Invercargill Airport, giving her the opportunity to train at the ILT Velodrome.
Her progress was apparent with a keirin bronze medal in the Oceania Championships and a solid performance when given a chance to compete in last month’s world cup in Beijing.
Hansen repaid some of that investment with four titles at the weekend including national records in the sprint and 250m flying lap, along with two further wins tonight.
“I wouldn’t be here without Gerard. He believed in me and that got me back on the track. I have given it absolutely everything and I am fired up about the future.
“BikeNZ showed faith in getting me to the world cup and that showed me, with just a few weeks training, that I was not far away from the best women in the world.
“I was really happy with my form this weekend. There are two or three other girls who pushed me as well. Look what has happened to the men in sprinting who were in our position about a year ago.
“I think if we all work really hard and we nail it from the start of next season at the Oceanias then I think we could qualify a women’s team sprint for London.”
Hansen beat Elizabeth Steele (Canterbury) and Henrietta Mitchell (Auckland) to win the keirin final and clocked a superb 356.718 to win the 500m time trial by 2/10ths of a second from Kate Scholfield.
Southland’s Tom Scully, coming back to the sharp end of the sport after time out following a massive crash last year, has put his hand up for selection to next month’s world championships after winning the six-discipline omnium.
International Simon van Velthooven (Palmerston North) was too strong in winning the men’s sprint in two straight rides against Southland’s Matt Archibald.
Levin’s Gemma Dudley impressed in winning the women’s 10km scratch race in an impressive effort ahead of Southland’s Sequoia Cooper and Steele with Waikato’s Rushlee Buchanan back in seventh.
South Canterbury’s Jason Christie is pushing his world championship hopes after outlasting Scully and Jason Allen to win the men’s scratch race.
World championship hopefuls Sam Webster and Ethan Mitchell teamed with James Vercoe to edge their way to victory in the tem sprint over hosts Southland with Archibald, Sean Fox and a gallant Eddie Dawkins who returned to the track after his heavy fall in last weekend’s world cup in Manchester.
The national age and masters championships begin in Invercargill on Tuesday.
Day 3 results:
Women's 10km scratch (Omnium): Gemma Dudley (WCNI) 1; Sequoia Cooper (Southland) 2; Elizabeth Steele (Canterbury) 3.
Women's 500m Time Trial: Natasha Hansen (Southland) 35.718, 1; Katie Scholfield (Otago) 35.926, 2; Henrietta Mitchell (Auckland) 36.450, 3.
Women's Omnium overall: Dudley 10 pts, 1; Cooper 15 pts, 2; Buchanan 22 pts, 3.
Men's Team Sprint qualifying: Auckland (James Vercoe, Ethan Mitchell, Sam Webster) 45.997, 1; Southland (Sean Fox, Matt Archibald, Eddie Dawkins) 46.035, 2; Composite (Nick Post, Courtney Black, Simon van Velthooven) 48.735, 3; Southland (Karl Watson, Brehan Cairns, Matt Dodds) 49.299, 4.
Final: Auckland 45.882,1; Southland 1 46.075, 2; Composite 48.455, 3; Southland 2 49.519, 4.
Men's Sprint quarterfinal: Van Velthooven bt Watson 2-0; Archibald bt Willie Trew (Otago) 2-0; Dodds bt Vercoe 2-0; May bt Fox 2-0. Semi final: Van Velthooven bt May2 – 0, Archibald bt Dodds 2-0. Fifth to eighth: Fox 5, Trew 6, Watson 7, Vercoe 8. Third-fourth: May bt Dodds 2-1. Final: Van Velthooven bt Archibald 2-0.
Women's Keirin: First round, heat 1: Natasha Hansen (Southland) 1; Vanessa Quinn (Auckland) 2; Emma Gibb (Southland) 3. Heat two – Katie Scholfield (Otago) 1; Henrietta Mitchell (Auckland) 2; Elizabeth Steele (Canterbury) 3. Final: Hansen, 1; Steele, 2; Mitchell, 3.
Men's Flying Lap (omnium): Cameron Karwowski (Southland) 13.381, 1; Lee Evans (Southland) 13.639, 2; Tom Scully (Southland) 13.693, 3.
Men’s Elimination race (omnium): Scully, 1; B Evans, 2; L Evans, 3.
Men's 30km Points Race: Jason Christie (Mid South Canterbury) 28. 1; Tom Scully (Southland) 26, 2; Jason Allen (Tasman) 20, 3.
Men's Omnium overall: Scully 13 pts, 1; Karwowski 17 pts, 2; Allen 19 pts, 3.
Women's Para-Cycling Tandem 1000m: Phillipa Gray and Laura Thompson (Southland) 1.12.417, gold (NZ Record); Jayne Parsons and Annaliisa Farrell (WBOP) 1.16.255, bronze.
Men's Para-Cycling Team Sprint qualifying: Jamie Gemmell (Auckland) Nathan Smith (WCNI) and Jamie Kidd (Tasman) 58.289