6 Feb 2012

Southland sprinters supreme at NZ cycling championships

6:59 am on 6 February 2012

Natasha Hansen continued to stake her claim for Olympic selection on the second night of the Track Cycling National Championships in Invercargill after defeating fellow Southlander Steph McKenzie in two straight rides to win the women's sprint title.

The men's sprint final was a more closely fought affair with local hero Eddie Dawkins regaining his best form to beat fellow BikeNZ squad member and former triple world junior champion Sam Webster (Auckland) in a third ride, after they split the first two.

Hansen, who has her sights set on the London Olympics, set a new national record of 11.219 in the 200 metre sprint qualifying, adding it to the 500 metre time trial national record she set on Saturday.

Southland local Tom Scully caused an upset in the points race when he beat Beijing Olympians Westley Gough (Waipukurau) and Marc Ryan (Timaru) for the title.

Commonwealth Games medallist Joanne Kiesanowski (Canterbury) rode an exemplary points race to secure herself the women's national title.

The country's leading omnium rider featured in each sprint, winning by an 11 point margin ahead of Rushlee Buchanan (Waikato Bay of Plenty) and Sequoia Cooper (Southland).

Youngsters Alysha Keith (Otago) and Dylan Kennett (Canterbury) put their hands up for selection to next year's Junior World Championships to be staged at Invercargill after convincing wins in the under 19 omnium.

The Track National Championships conclude today.