BikeNZ gathers world champions to celebrate 2009 success

Remarkable season produces 15 World Champions

BikeNZ has celebrated a successful season by bringing together the 15 competitors who secured New Zealand 18 International Cycling Union (UCI) World Championships throughout 2009. High performance programme members Alison Shanks and Sarah Walker were amongst those gathered for the function in Wellington.

BikeNZ Chairman Richard Leggat thanked the organisation’s commercial partners along with the Academy of Sport for their contributions to the nation’s success.

“Our high performance programme is very focused on delivering outcomes in our targeted areas of endurance track cycling and BMX, and in this regard Alison and Sarah led the way,” said Leggat. “These outstanding performances are not limited to this pair alone with the women’s and men’s pursuit programmes and other endurance track events enjoying significant international success.

“We are a very focused and committed High Performance Programme led by our High Performance Director Mark Elliott who has put in place the best coaches and performance support professionals who are as driven as the athletes for success,” he added.

The nation’s 18 titles included Shanks elite women’s individual pursuit title at the UCI Track World Championships in Poland and Walkers’ two BMX World Championship wins in Adelaide, Australia. In addition to these elite victories the nation’s riders claimed junior and master world titles in addition to its para-cycling success.

Leggat also praised New Zealand’s national funding body SPARC for its commitment to the sport. SPARC Chief Executive Peter Miskimmin applauded the riders for delivering on the Government’s investment.

“The achievements of these 15 athletes are tremendous,” said Miskimmin. “It is simply extraordinary that a single sport has produced 18 world titles in a single year.

“Credit has to go not only to the riders who have undoubted talent, but to the planning and support provided by BikeNZ,” he added. “It has shown it is a national sport organisation that is able to deliver results.”

Leggat said BikeNZ, which is in just its sixth year, will be placing high priority on its talent identification and development programmes in coming years. “BikeNZ is committed to building on this success in 2010, developing a range of programmes that will help our clubs better support the development of all levels of cycling and a nationwide coaching development framework,” he said.

BikeNZ's 2009 World Champions:

Alison Shanks (Dunedin): Elite Women’s Track Individual Pursuit
Sarah Walker (Kawerau): Elite Olympic Class BMX
Sarah Walker: Elite Cruiser Class BMX
Sam Webster (Auckland), Ethan Mitchell (Auckland), Cameron Karwowski (Blenheim): Junior Track Team Sprint
Sam Webster: Junior Track Sprint
Sam Webster: Junior Track Keirin
Brook MacDonald (Napier): Under 19 Mountain Bike Downhill
Rico Bearman (North Harbour): BMX Olympic Class 5-6 years
Nicholas Fox (Gisborne): BMX Cruiser Class 16 years
Tahlia Hansen (Christchurch): BMX Olympic Class 12 years
Paula Tesoriero (Wellington): Para-Cycling Road Race
Paula Tesoriero: Para-Cycling Track 500m Time Trial
Justin Grace (Auckland): Masters Track 1000m Time Trial 35-39 years
Reon Park (Timaru): Masters Track Individual Pursuit 35-39 years
Megan Blatchford (Palmerston North): Masters Track Sprint 45-49 years
Megan Blatchford: Masters Track Scratch Race 45-49 years
Warwick Dalton (Auckland): Masters Track Scratch Race 70-74 years
Owen Duff (Dunedin): Masters Track Points Race 75 plus years.

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