Rio Olympics: Who is in the NZ cycling team?

From left is Eddie Dawkins, Sam Webster, Natasha Hansen and Ethan Mitchell. New Zealand Herald photograph by Mike Scott.
From left is Eddie Dawkins, Sam Webster, Natasha Hansen and Ethan Mitchell. New Zealand Herald photograph by Mike Scott.

Cycling New Zealand has named a team of 20 for the Rio Olympics

Eddie Dawkins
Birthdate: August 11, 1989
Hometown: Invercargill
Discipline: Men's sprint team
Previous Olympics: London 2012, 5th men's sprint
Fact: Dawkins holds the world record in the 200m flying sprint, eclipsing the time set by six-time Olympic champion Sir Chris Hoy.

Ethan Mitchell
Birthdate: February 19, 1991
Hometown: Auckland
Discipline: Men's sprint team
Previous Olympics: London 2012, 5th men's sprint
Fact: Mitchell's 24th birthday was memorable for all the wrong reasons - he, along with the other members of the men's sprint team, was relegated to silver after winning the final of the world championships when officials ruled the Kiwi team had committed a technical infringement.

Sam Webster
Birthdate: July 16, 1991
Hometown: Auckland
Discipline: Men's sprint team
Previous Olympics: Nil
Fact: After missing out on the team for the London Games, Webster, the former triple junior world champion, says he dedicated every day since 2012 to make the team for Rio.

Natasha Hansen
Birthdate: November 15, 1989
Hometown: Invercargill
Discipline: Individual sprint
Previous Olympics: London 2012, 12th women's sprint; 11th women's keirin
Fact: Hansen left the sport following the London Games, but returned to cycling fulltime last year and has rapidly risen through the rankings.

Zac Williams
Birthdate: July 21, 1995
Hometown: Auckland
Discipline: Men's sprint team
Previous Olympics: None
Fact: First showed elite promise in 2014 when he beat world champion team sprinters Ethan Mitchell and Eddie Dawkins in the Bike NZ Cup at Cambridge.

Olivia Podmore
Birthdate: May 24, 1997
Hometown: Christchurch
Discipline: Women's sprint team
Previous Olympics: None
Fact: A Givealittle page helped get her to last year's junior world championships where she picked up silver and bronze medals. Funding shouldn't be as much of a problem now.

Dylan Kennett
Birthdate: December 8, 1994
Hometown: Waimate
Discipline: Men's endurance team
Previous Olympics: None
Fact: As a schoolboy he saw local rider and double Olympic bronze medallist Marc Ryan compete at his local track and was hooked in between stints watching the Tour de France.

Piet Bulling
Birthdate: March 2, 1993
Hometown: Invercargill
Discipline: Men's endurance team
Previous Olympics: None
Fact: Took a spell from the sport as a teenage prodigy but eventually headed back to the roads of Europe and home to the world of track high performance.

Regan Gough
Birthdate: October 6, 1996
Hometown: Waipukurau
Discipline: Men's endurance team
Previous Olympics: None
Fact: At age 18, he was a late replacement for Marc Ryan in the gold medal ride at the 2015 world championships. His efforts helped New Zealand secure their maiden title in the discipline.

Aaron Gate
Birthdate: November 26, 1990
Hometown: Auckland
Discipline: Men's endurance team
Previous Olympics: London 2012, bronze, men's team pursuit
Fact: Became omnium world champion in 2013. Proposed marriage to his partner Kirstie at Bruges in June while wearing a sling to protect a broken shoulder blade.

Hayden Roulston
Birthdate: January 10, 1981
Hometown: Ashburton
Discipline: Men's endurance team
Previous Olympics: Athens 2004, 7th in Madison; Beijing 2008, silver in individual pursuit, bronze in team pursuit, 10th in Madison.
Fact: Forced to retire from cycling in 2006 with a heart condition, but returned after discovering the benefits of reiki, a Japanese hands-on healing process to reduce stress.

Rushlee Buchanan
Birthdate: January 20, 1988
Hometown: Hamilton
Discipline: Women's endurance team
Previous Olympics: London 2012, 5th team pursuit
Fact: Buchanan's first Olympic memory was doing a school project on the Sydney Games and watching Sarah Ulmer miss out on bronze. If she wasn't a cyclist she'd take up shooting.

Jaime Nielsen
Birthdate: September 3, 1985
Hometown: Hamilton
Discipline: Women's endurance team
Previous Olympics: London 2012, 5th team pursuit
Fact: Recruited from Cycling New Zealand's initial 'power to the podium' intake. Won an under-23 rowing world championship in the quadruple sculls in 2004.

Racquel Sheath
Birthdate: November 7, 1994
Hometown: Morrinsville
Discipline: Women's endurance team
Previous Olympics: None
Fact: Claimed silver in the team pursuit and bronze in the omnium at the 2012 junior world championships in Invercargill.

Lauren Ellis
Birthdate: April 19, 1989
Hometown: Ashburton
Discipline: Women's endurance team
Previous Olympics: London 2012, 5th team pursuit
Fact: Used to be coached by Hayden Roulston and, in 2008-09, raced for the Kiwi-run Jazz Apple team in the United States.


Georgia Williams
Birthdate: August 25, 1993
Hometown: Auckland
Discipline: Women's endurance team
Previous Olympics: None
Fact: A foundation pupil at Albany Junior High School, she moved from netball and water polo to cycling. Signed with the Milan-based Be Pink team as a teenager and has stuck with them.

George Bennett
Birthdate: April 7, 1990
Hometown: Nelson
Discipline: Men's road race
Previous Olympics: None
Fact: Bennett came to cycling from a rugby background rather than the track. Competed at the 2008 mountain bike world championships before concentrating on the road.

Linda Villumsen
Birthdate: April 9, 1985
Hometown: Christchurch
Discipline: Women's individual time trial
Previous Olympics: Beijing 2008, 5th road race; London 2012, 4th individual time trial
Fact: Came to New Zealand as a 16-year-old exchange student from Denmark, jumped on a bike and helped Pakuranga College win the Auckland secondary schools' time trial for the first time.

Sam Gaze
Birthdate: December 12, 1995
Hometown: Tokoroa
Discipline: Men's mountain bike
Previous Olympics: None
Fact: The 20-year-old won the under-23 world championship a month out from the Games, clearing out on the final two laps.

Trent Jones
Birthdate: August 12, 1994
Hometown: Waipu/Christchurch
Discipline: Men's BMX
Previous Olympics: None
Fact: Born in Limerick to golf-course building parents, Jones moved back to New Zealand with his family as a one-year-old. Took up BMX aged 10 and was racing internationally at 12.

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

© Copyright 2016, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production bpcf05 at 27 Sep 2016 22:40:31 Processing Time: 557ms