World titles beckon

Being in the seven-member Australian women’s team for the world titles caps off years of hard work for Lauretta Hanson.

“It’s been a long journey but I’m over the moon to finally be named in my first World Championships.
“I can’t thank the people who have helped me get here enough, and I can’t wait to represent the green and gold in Belgium,” Lauretta Hanson said late last week.

Growing up on her parents’ farm at Fern Hill and beginning to race bikes when an eight-year-old at Tylden Primary School in 2004 was the start of the journey.

The now 26-year-old professional road cyclist is a valued support rider in the powerful Trek-Segfredo team, racing at the elite level in Europe.

Being in the seven-member Australian women’s team for the world titles caps off years of hard work.

“I enjoy helping others win as much as myself,” she said.

Ross and Heather Hanson’s four children – Victoria, Lauretta, Alastair and Jacqueline – were given every chance to pursue cycling as a sport.

And no wonder, Heather (nee Kelson) had been a talented Kyneton Cycling Club member who became national road race champion at the age of 17 when she capitalised on being in a breakaway group in the event held at Launceston.

At that time women’s cycling did not offer much financial reward, and Heather pursued a nursing career three years later.

Lauretta went to Sacred Heart College in Kyneton and as an 18-year-old secured a scholarship in Tennessee in 2014. She rode in Canada and the USA for several years before joining the ‘big league’ in Europe, being guaranteed a minimum salary with Trek-Segfredo.

“My Mum is my biggest fan, and my biggest inspiration,” Lauretta said.

Professional cycling is a very tough sport, and Lauretta is based in the Netherlands for the majority of each year. She expects to return home in early November.

“I have seen more of the world than I ever expected to see. That’s largely due to my cycling career.”

The COVID pandemic impact, and concussion from a fall, have been challenges to overcome, with Lauretta admitting the past few years “have been a bit of a bumpy ride”.

“It now feels to be on solid ground and in a position where I can help my team-mates at the pointy end of races.
“Of course, the learning never stops, but I’m enjoying the ride.”

The Express wishes Lauretta well for the world championships.