Biography

Hadyen Roulston’s feats at Olympics, world championships and Commonwealth Games lift him almost to the top of the New Zealand cycling ladder. When his road riding, including in the Tour de France, and his record in national championships are added, his record takes some beating. Roulston, born in Ashburton in 1981, was a talented junior track and road rider. He competed for New Zealand on the track and rode on the road for a club team in France. His first Commonwealth Games was at Manchester in 2002, when he was fifth in the individual pursuit and picked up a bronze in the team pursuit, with Greg Henderson, Lee Vertongen and Matthew Randall. He also contested the road race, finishing a highly creditable sixth. The next year, he and Henderson took the silver medal in the madison behind the Swiss team of Bruno Risi and Franco Marvulli at the 2003 world championships in Stuttgart. Ralston turned professional and rode with the French team Cofidis in 2002. He remained with the team for two seasons before moving to Discovery Channel for 2005. He swapped successfully between the road and the track throughout his career. In 2004, Roulston and Henderson finished seventh in a field of 18 in the Athens Olympic madison. Two years later, he was second behind Australian Sean Finning in the Melbourne Commonwealth Games 40km points race. He was also eighth in the individual pursuit at those games. Roulston had some impressive rides with Discovery Channel, but suffered a run of injuries. He attempted to relaunch his professional road career in the United States when he signed for Continental Pro team HealthNet. However, in his first year at HealthNet a medical examination revealed irregular heart activity and he was advised to stop riding immediately, which he did. Back home in New Zealand he experimented with some alternative remedies and was soon back riding – and winning. Without a contract but still eager to ride, he won the national road race title in 2006 and back-to-back Tour of Southland and Tour of Wellington titles in 2006 and 2007. In addition to his road racing, he returned to the track and shone at the New Zealand and Oceania track championships. Roulston was outstanding in 2008, all the more remarkable considering his serious health woes in the preceding years. He had been on the point of walking away from the sport on medical advice. In 2008, he set the fastest time ever by a New Zealander while finishing fourth in the individual pursuit at the world championships in Manchester, and was also fourth in the team pursuit. He and Henderson were ninth in the madison. The Ashburton cyclist won the silver medal in the 4000m individual pursuit in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, beaten in the gold medal race by flying Englishman Bradley Wiggins, and then combined with Marc Ryan, Jesse Sergent and Sam Bewley to win the bronze medal in the teams pursuit. In addition, he was 10th in the madison with Henderson. At the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games, Roulson rode extremely gamely in the road race in tough conditions, eventually picking up a silver medal after a strong performance by his New Zealand team-mates. He lost out to Australian Allan Davis in the sprint to the line, but held off the Scot, David Millar. It was the third consecutive Commonwealth Games in which he had won a medal. In 2008, Hayden announced that he would be riding for Cervélo TestTeam, where his team-mates included reigning Tour de France champion Carlos Sastre and multiple Tour de France stage winner Thor Hushovd. After impressive lead-up form, he competed in the 2009 Tour de France, where he featured at the front of the field several times, and finished third on stage 14. He signed for Team HTC Columbia in 2011-12 and for RadioShack-Nissan in 2013. Besides his stellar career at Olympic, world championship and Commonwealth Games level, Ralston has won national titles in the individual pursuit and team pursuit (both 2006) and in the road race (2006, 11, 13, 14). In 2009 Roulston was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit.