Hanson’s Olympic journey

Lauretta Hanson (AusCycling/Josh Chadwick)

Tara Murray

It’s from the Kyneton Velodrome to the roads of Paris for Lauretta Hanson.

Hanson, who learned to ride in Kyneton and still calls the Macedon Ranges home despite moving away, has been named in her first Olympic team.

Hanson is part of the Australian cycling women’s road race team.

“It’s an incredible feeling,” she said. “Cycling has been my passion since I was junior and it has given me so much in life.

“I have many friends and have been able to travel the world through my sport, but when I first started at the Kyneton Velodrome, I never thought it would lead me to where I am now.

“I never imagined that I’d make it to a professional level, let alone the Olympics. It’s incredibly humbling to look back on my career, the journey it took to get here and all of those that have helped along the way.”

Hanson said making the Olympics was something that she dreamed of, but never truly allowed herself to believe it would happen.

She comes from a cycling family.

Her mum won a national championship in 1981 but the family moved away from the sport when her grandfather was hit and killed in 2000.

Hanson and her cousins later picked up the sport and she’s never looked back.

“I certainly dreamed, but I don’t think I ever truly allowed myself to believe that it would ever happen,” she said.

“It’s only been in recent years that I actually saw it as a possibility. It’s hard to put yourself out there and chase a goal that seems near impossible, but you have to take the chance, back yourself and try anyway.”

Hanson has already represented Australia at two world championships, including last year.

She said making an Olympic team feels significant.

“It is the ultimate world stage and you have a whole nation behind you whether they follow cycling or not. It’s going to be a fantastic experience and I’m incredibly honoured to represent Australia.”

Hanson said they have a strong team with herself, Grace Brown and Ruby Roseman-Gannon.

She said her goal is to support her teammates and to help Australia to the best result possible.

Hanson hasn’t thought much past the Olympics and what’s next. At this stage she’s not competing in the Tour de France.

“I’m not sure yet,” she said of what is next.

“I race for a fantastic team in Lidl- Trek and after the Games I’ll return my focus to helping my trade team win races, but for now,

“I’m staying in the present, enjoying these few weeks into the Games and then waiting to see what life throws at me.”