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Eagle Eyed Hansen to Attack Track Nationals

30th January 2013

For immediate release:

Eagle Eyed Hansen to Attack Track Nationals with Renewed Focus

Natasha Hansen has unfinished business in the sport of cycling and intends to be rather busy defending four titles at the Elite Track Nationals in her home town of Invercargill starting this Thursday in a story that is typically ‘Kiwi’ as the 23 year old holds down a fulltime job while chasing her sporting dreams.

An Air Traffic Controller by day, the London Olympian is used to keeping her eye on incoming traffic but intends flying around the Invercargill Velodrome with renewed vigour after ending 2012 by her own admission down on form and motivation.

“Following the Olympics I took a month off the bike before getting back into training for the current season which kicked off for me late November at the Oceania Championships held in Adelaide,” said Hansen.

“Training started off well in October and I was pretty excited to build on the momentum from the previous year, especially with the rise of the women's sprint programme. In particular I was looking forward to racing at another World Cup and then eventually onto my second World Championships in March 2013, where I was hoping to better my results from the Olympics.”

Circumstances have since meant that Hansen won’t race at the World Champs, a decision she understands and has come to terms with, working with Bike NZ to reassess her goals and focus on returning to top form and fitness, starting with the defence of the four national titles won last year.

“Now that I’m back in New Zealand I feel more focused and determined to go well at the National Championships as I not only defend my titles in the sprint, keirin, team sprint and 500m time trial, but I also hope to produce personal best times in the flying 200m and 500m time trial.”

Hansen is no stranger to the high pressure environment of top level sport, with every one of her working days requiring a focus on the job at hand.

“On top of all my bike training, I work full time as an Air Traffic Controller; a combination which I believe compliments each other as the shift work enables me to spend my spare time meeting all of my training requirements.

“My main goal now is a strong finish to the New Zealand season, which will hopefully lead to a good off season and eventually selection for the Glasgow Commonwealth Games. I know I can do it, and I need to, not just for me, but to prove that the women’s sprint programme is a good investment for the sport.

“Bike NZ has been great and I continue to receive great support from them, but I can’t feel sorry for myself either, it is time to roll up the sleeves and get on with being the best athlete I can be.”

For further information contact:

Natasha Hansen
0211 709 979

The programme is (courtesy of BikeNZ):
Thursday 31 January: Men and women individual pursuit, men and women 250m time trials. Evening finals: Under 19 and elite time trials, individual pursuit finals, Men under-19 scratch race.
Friday qualifying: Elite sprint, under-19 individual pursuit, under-19 keirin. Evening finals: Elite sprint, under 19 individual pursuit, under-19 kerin, women points race, men scratch race.
Saturday qualifying: Under 19 sprint, elite keirin, under 19 points. Evening finals: Under 19 sprint, women’s under 19 points, elite women scratch, men keirin, men’s points.
Sunday qualifying: Elite team pursuit, elite and under-19 team sprint. Evening finals: Elite team pursuit, under-19 and elite team sprint, men’s Madison.

Full details: www.bikenz.org.nz. Live ticker cover and results: www.cyclingsouthl.org.nz

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