Following a fantastic year of cycling success BikeNZ is celebrating the achievements of its top riders with its inaugural BikeNZ Road and Track Rider of the Year Awards.
The finalists for the BikeNZ Track Riders of the Year were announced today.
Golden Girl Ali Shanks (Dunedin) is an unsurprising finalist for the Female Track Rider of the Year award; her domination of the Individual Pursuit at the Commonwealth Games was impressive. Shanks is a founding member of the women’s Team Pursuit team, leading the team to set a World Record time and take the bronze medal at the 2010 UCI Track World Championships in Copenhagen.
Lauren Ellis (Hinds), another finalist in this category, had a stunning year to take a silver medal in the points race at the Commonwealth Games. This follows the silver medal she won in this event at the 2010 UCI Track World Championships. Along with Shanks, Ellis is a dominant member of the women’s Team Pursuit team and was part of the trio that set a World Record in Copenhagen.
Rushlee Buchanan (Te Awamutu), third member of the record breaking Team Pursuit team is also a finalist. Buchanan is also the current national road champion.
In the male section, star pursuiter Jesse Sergent (Fielding) leads the charge after a spectacular season. Sergent took the silver medal in the Individual Pursuit at the 2010 UCI World Championships. He repeated this performance to take a silver medal in the same event at the Commonwealth Games. Sergent is also a fundamental member of the Team Pursuit team, having collected many international medals racing as part of this team.
Other contenders for the title are big sprinter Eddie Dawkins (Invercargill) and young gun Tom Scully (Invercargill) who had a fantastic track season earlier this year before injury pulled him out of Commonwealth Games contention.
There is an exciting mix of talent for the Best Emerging Talent award.
Finalist Sam Webster (Auckland) rose to prominence when he became triple junior world champion in 2009. Since then Webster, who was named the Commonwealth Outstanding Emerging Talent in November, has confidently stepped up to the elite level taking a bronze in the sprint and a silver in the team sprint at the Commonwealth Games.
The other finalists for the award are young track sprinter Stephanie McKenzie (Auckland) and promising road rider George Bennett (Nelson) who is also a finalist for the RaboDirect People’s Choice Award.
Voting is still open for the RaboDirect People’s Choice Award. Click here to place your vote.
The Road Rider of the Year finalists have been announced previously. The men’s finalists consists of New Zealand’s three top pro riders, Hayden Roulston, Julian Dean and Greg Henderson. The women’s include Linda Villumsen who took a silver medal in the time trial at the Commonwealth Games as well as Catherine Cheatley and Joanne Kiesanowski.
The BikeNZ Road and Track Rider of the Year Awards are being presented at an awards function on January 7th in Christchurch. This is being held in conjunction with the 2011 RaboDirect Elite Road National Championships, 7th – 9th January.
Male Track Rider of the Year:
Female Track Rider of the Year:
Best Emerging talent:
Male Road Rider of the Year:
Female Road Rider of the Year:
RaboDirect People’s Choice Award: