Cycling: Sergent double finalist for BikeNZ awards

Jesse Sergent, cyclist. Photo / Supplied
Jesse Sergent, cyclist. Photo / Supplied

Feilding cyclist Jesse Sergent had his stunning 2011 season recognised by being named a finalist on road and track at the BikeNZ rider of the year awards.

Sergent came second in the individual pursuit at the UCI track world championships and won two tours on the road in his first year in the professional peloton.

The 2010 male track rider of the year will defend his title against world silver medallist Shane Archbold and sprinter Simon van Velthooven.

Archbold rose to prominence during a season that ended with a silver medal in the omnium at the world championships. Van Velthooven made his mark on the world cup circuit with a gold medal in the keirin and a bronze in the kilometre time trial at the Beijing track world cup.

Sergent will face fiercer competition in the road category, with fellow finalists Julian Dean and Greg Henderson among New Zealand's top professional riders.

International road veteran Dean was an integral member of his Garmin-Cervelo team at this year's Tour de France, helping them to win the team time trial and the overall team classification.

Henderson had a string of podium places this season, including a stage win in both prestigious Paris-Nice and the Tour of Luxembourg.

In the women's field, Alison Shanks will be favourite for track rider of the year. She topped off a fantastic season with a silver medal in the individual pursuit at the UCI Track World Championships and was a vital member of the women's team pursuit team that won world championship bronze.

Other finalists for the title are fellow team pursuit member Jaime Nielsen and omnium rider Joanne Kiesanowski.

Three-time world time trial medallist Linda Villumsen is the headline name for the road rider of the year, after winning silver in the time trial at the UCI road world championships in Denmark.

Villumsen will be up against national women's road race champion Catherine Cheatley and Rushlee Buchanan for the award.

Triple junior world medallist Stephanie McKenzie is favourite for the best emerging talent award. She won two silvers and a bronze in sprint events at the 2011 UCI junior track world championships. The other finalists are junior worlds silver medallists James Oram and Georgia Williams.

The people's choice award will be determined by public vote, with Gordon McCauley, Eddie Dawkins George Bennett, Dean and Archbold the finalists.

The awards will be held in Christchurch on January 6, in conjunction with the 2012 elite road national championships.

Finalists for BikeNZ rider of the year awards:

Male Track Rider of the Year: Jesse Sergent, Shane Archbold, Simon van Velthooven

Female Track Rider of the Year: Ali Shanks, Jo Kiesanowski, Jaime Nielsen

Male Road Rider of the Year: Jesse Sergent, Greg Henderson, Julian Dean

Female Road Rider of the Year: Catherine Cheatley, Linda Villumsen, Rushlee Buchanan

Best Emerging Talent: Stephanie McKenzie, James Oram, Georgia Williams

People's Choice Award: Eddie Dawkins, Shane Archbold, George Bennett, Gordon McCauley, Julian Dean

- APNZ

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