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Alison Shanks - a huge honour
Apr 27th, 12. While it was no surprise to see Individual Pursuit World Champion Alison Shanks included as part of the NZ Olympic track squad, for her it was a relief.
"It's very exciting and a huge honour," Shanks told RoadCycling.co.nz about today's news.
"It's always a relief to see your name in the Olympic team. It's been a long build up until now and it's exciting to finally have it on paper."
London is Shanks' second Olympic Games. She rode the Individual Pursuit at the Beijing Olympics where she placed a heart-breaking 4th.
"Having been to one Olympics, I can go back knowing what I am going to face, and knowing what environment I am going to step into. I think that gives me a lot of confidence knowing what I am heading to."
The 29 year old from Dunedin is also looking forward to having good support from the stands at the London Velodrome.
"London is going to feel a lot more like home for us Kiwis. For me, the two big games that I have recently been to have been in China [Beijing Olympics] and India [Delhi Commonwealth Games] and the culture is so extreme to what we have here in New Zealand.
"In London there are so many Kiwis already there and I think it's going to feel very much like home. That's exciting."
With the Individual Pursuit removed from the Olympic programme, Shanks will line up as part of the Team Pursuit along with Lauren Ellis and Jaime Neilsen - with Rushlee Buchanan as reserve.
"I'm not going to hide the fact I was totally devastated initially," she said regarding her favoured event being dropped from the Games. "Having been to one Olympics and getting fourth, you are so close to stepping onto that podium, and then to have that opportunity taken away from you out of your control is totally gutting."
She is, however, buoyed by the new challenge the Team Pursuit - a first time Olympic event - presents.
"Now I am really excited about the new opportunity we have with the Team Pursuit. It's a new challenge and it's about bringing a whole team of girls together and the new challenges that comes with it.
"I think we are tracking really well ahead of the Olympics."
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